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By George Orwell 



Part One 


Chapter i 

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were strik- 
ing thirteen. Winston Smith, his chin nuzzled into his 
breast in an effort to escape the vile wind, slipped quickly 
through the glass doors of Victory Mansions, though not 
quickly enough to prevent a swirl of gritty dust from enter- 
ing along with him. 

The hallway smelt of boiled cabbage and old rag mats. At 
one end of it a coloured poster, too large for indoor display, 
had been tacked to the wall. It depicted simply an enor- 
mous face, more than a metre wide: the face of a man of 
about forty- five, with a heavy black moustache and rugged- 
ly handsome features. Winston made for the stairs. It was 
no use trying the lift. Even at the best of times it was sel- 
dom working, and at present the electric current was cut 
off during daylight hours. It was part of the economy drive 
in preparation for Hate Week. The flat was seven flights up, 
and Winston, who was thirty-nine and had a varicose ulcer 
above his right ankle, went slowly, resting several times on 
the way. On each landing, opposite the lift-shaft, the poster 
with the enormous face gazed from the wall. It was one of 
those pictures which are so contrived that the eyes follow 
you about when you move. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING 
YOU, the caption beneath it ran. 

Inside the flat a fruity voice was reading out a list of fig- 3 

ures which had something to do with the production of 
pig-iron. The voice came from an oblong metal plaque like 
a dulled mirror which formed part of the surface of the 
right-hand wall. Winston turned a switch and the voice 
sank somewhat, though the words were still distinguish- 
able. The instrument (the telescreen, it was called) could be 
dimmed, but there was no way of shutting it off complete- 
ly. He moved over to the window: a smallish, frail figure, 
the meagreness of his body merely emphasized by the blue 
overalls which were the uniform of the party. His hair was 
very fair, his face naturally sanguine, his skin roughened by 
coarse soap and blunt razor blades and the cold of the win- 
ter that had just ended. 

Outside, even through the shut window-pane, the world 
looked cold. Down in the street little eddies of wind were 
whirling dust and torn paper into spirals, and though the 
sun was shining and the sky a harsh blue, there seemed 
to be no colour in anything, except the posters that were 
plastered everywhere. The blackmoustachio'd face gazed 
down from every commanding corner. There was one on 
the house-front immediately opposite. BIG BROTHER IS 
WATCHING YOU, the caption said, while the dark eyes 
looked deep into Winston's own. Down at street level an- 
other poster, torn at one corner, flapped fitfully in the wind, 
alternately covering and uncovering the single word IN- 
GSOC. In the far distance a helicopter skimmed down 
between the roofs, hovered for an instant like a bluebottle, 
and darted away again with a curving flight. It was the po- 
lice patrol, snooping into people's windows. The patrols did 


not matter, however. Only the Thought Police mattered. 

Behind Winston's back the voice from the telescreen was 
still babbling away about pig-iron and the overfulfilment 
of the Ninth Three-Year Plan. The telescreen received and 
transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, 
above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by 
it, moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vi- 
sion which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen 
as well as heard. There was of course no way of knowing 
whether you were being watched at any given moment. How 
often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on 
any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable 
that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate 
they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You 
had to live — did live, from habit that became instinct — in 
the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, 
and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized. 

Winston kept his back turned to the telescreen. It was 
safer, though, as he well knew, even a back can be revealing. 
A kilometre away the Ministry of Truth, his place of work, 
towered vast and white above the grimy landscape. This, 
he thought with a sort of vague distaste — this was London, 
chief city of Airstrip One, itself the third most populous 
of the provinces of Oceania. He tried to squeeze out some 
childhood memory that should tell him whether London 
had always been quite like this. Were there always these vis- 
tas of rotting nineteenth-century houses, their sides shored 
up with baulks of timber, their windows patched with card- 
board and their roofs with corrugated iron, their crazy 5 

garden walls sagging in all directions? And the bombed 
sites where the plaster dust swirled in the air and the wil- 
low-herb straggled over the heaps of rubble; and the places 
where the bombs had cleared a larger patch and there had 
sprung up sordid colonies of wooden dwellings like chick- 
en-houses? But it was no use, he could not remember: 
nothing remained of his childhood except a series of bright- 
lit tableaux occurring against no background and mostly 

The Ministry of Truth — Minitrue, in Newspeak [New- 
speak was the official language of Oceania. For an account 
of its structure and etymology see Appendix.] — was star- 
tlingly different from any other object in sight. It was an 
enormous pyramidal structure of glittering white con- 
crete, soaring up, terrace after terrace, 300 metres into the 
air. From where Winston stood it was just possible to read, 
picked out on its white face in elegant lettering, the three 
slogans of the Party: 



The Ministry of Truth contained, it was said, three 
thousand rooms above ground level, and corresponding 
ramifications below. Scattered about London there were 
just three other buildings of similar appearance and size. 
So completely did they dwarf the surrounding architec- 
ture that from the roof of Victory Mansions you could see 


all four of them simultaneously. They were the homes of 
the four Ministries between which the entire apparatus 
of government was divided. The Ministry of Truth, which 
concerned itself with news, entertainment, education, and 
the fine arts. The Ministry of Peace, which concerned itself 
with war. The Ministry of Love, which maintained law and 
order. And the Ministry of Plenty, which was responsible 
for economic affairs. Their names, in Newspeak: Minitrue, 
Minipax, Miniluv, and Miniplenty 

The Ministry of Love was the really frightening one. 
There were no windows in it at all. Winston had never been 
inside the Ministry of Love, nor within half a kilometre of it. 
It was a place impossible to enter except on official business, 
and then only by penetrating through a maze of barbed- 
wire entanglements, steel doors, and hidden machine-gun 
nests. Even the streets leading up to its outer barriers were 
roamed by gorilla-faced guards in black uniforms, armed 
with jointed truncheons. 

Winston turned round abruptly. He had set his features 
into the expression of quiet optimism which it was advis- 
able to wear when facing the telescreen. He crossed the 
room into the tiny kitchen. By leaving the Ministry at this 
time of day he had sacrificed his lunch in the canteen, and 
he was aware that there was no food in the kitchen except 
a hunk of dark- coloured bread which had got to be saved 
for tomorrow's breakfast. He took down from the shelf a 
bottle of colourless liquid with a plain white label marked 
VICTORY GIN. It gave off a sickly, oily smell, as of Chinese 
rice-spirit. Winston poured out nearly a teacupful, nerved 

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himself for a shock, and gulped it down like a dose of medi- 

Instantly his face turned scarlet and the water ran out 
of his eyes. The stuff was like nitric acid, and moreover, in 
swallowing it one had the sensation of being hit on the back 
of the head with a rubber club. The next moment, however, 
the burning in his belly died down and the world began to 
look more cheerful. He took a cigarette from a crumpled 
packet marked VICTORY CIGARETTES and incautiously 
held it upright, whereupon the tobacco fell out on to the 
floor. With the next he was more successful. He went back 
to the living-room and sat down at a small table that stood 
to the left of the telescreen. From the table drawer he took 
out a penholder, a bottle of ink, and a thick, quarto-sized 
blank book with a red back and a marbled cover. 

For some reason the telescreen in the living-room was in 
an unusual position. Instead of being placed, as was normal, 
in the end wall, where it could command the whole room, 
it was in the longer wall, opposite the window. To one side 
of it there was a shallow alcove in which Winston was now 
sitting, and which, when the flats were built, had probably 
been intended to hold bookshelves. By sitting in the alcove, 
and keeping well back, Winston was able to remain outside 
the range of the telescreen, so far as sight went. He could 
be heard, of course, but so long as he stayed in his present 
position he could not be seen. It was partly the unusual ge- 
ography of the room that had suggested to him the thing 
that he was now about to do. 

But it had also been suggested by the book that he had 


just taken out of the drawer. It was a peculiarly beautiful 
book. Its smooth creamy paper, a little yellowed by age, was 
of a kind that had not been manufactured for at least for- 
ty years past. He could guess, however, that the book was 
much older than that. He had seen it lying in the window of 
a frowsy little junk-shop in a slummy quarter of the town 
(just what quarter he did not now remember) and had been 
stricken immediately by an overwhelming desire to possess 
it. Party members were supposed not to go into ordinary 
shops ('dealing on the free market', it was called), but the 
rule was not strictly kept, because there were various things, 
such as shoelaces and razor blades, which it was impossible 
to get hold of in any other way. He had given a quick glance 
up and down the street and then had slipped inside and 
bought the book for two dollars fifty At the time he was not 
conscious of wanting it for any particular purpose. He had 
carried it guiltily home in his briefcase. Even with nothing 
written in it, it was a compromising possession. 

The thing that he was about to do was to open a diary. 
This was not illegal (nothing was illegal, since there were no 
longer any laws), but if detected it was reasonably certain 
that it would be punished by death, or at least by twenty- 
five years in a forced-labour camp. Winston fitted a nib into 
the penholder and sucked it to get the grease off. The pen 
was an archaic instrument, seldom used even for signatures, 
and he had procured one, furtively and with some difficulty, 
simply because of a feeling that the beautiful creamy paper 
deserved to be written on with a real nib instead of being 
scratched with an ink-pencil. Actually he was not used to 

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writing by hand. Apart from very short notes, it was usu- 
al to dictate everything into the speak-write which was of 
course impossible for his present purpose. He dipped the 
pen into the ink and then faltered for just a second. A trem- 
or had gone through his bowels. To mark the paper was the 
decisive act. In small clumsy letters he wrote: 

April 4th, 1984. 

He sat back. A sense of complete helplessness had de- 
scended upon him. To begin with, he did not know with any 
certainty that this was 1984. It must be round about that 
date, since he was fairly sure that his age was thirty-nine, 
and he believed that he had been born in 1944 or 1945; but 
it was never possible nowadays to pin down any date within 
a year or two. 

For whom, it suddenly occurred to him to wonder, was he 
writing this diary? For the future, for the unborn. His mind 
hovered for a moment round the doubtful date on the page, 
and then fetched up with a bump against the Newspeak 
word DOUBLETHINK. For the first time the magnitude of 
what he had undertaken came home to him. How could you 
communicate with the future? It was of its nature impossi- 
ble. Either the future would resemble the present, in which 
case it would not listen to him: or it would be different from 
it, and his predicament would be meaningless. 

For some time he sat gazing stupidly at the paper. The 
telescreen had changed over to strident military music. It 
was curious that he seemed not merely to have lost the pow- 


er of expressing himself, but even to have forgotten what it 
was that he had originally intended to say. For weeks past 
he had been making ready for this moment, and it had nev- 
er crossed his mind that anything would be needed except 
courage. The actual writing would be easy. All he had to 
do was to transfer to paper the interminable restless mono- 
logue that had been running inside his head, literally for 
years. At this moment, however, even the monologue had 
dried up. Moreover his varicose ulcer had begun itching 
unbearably. He dared not scratch it, because if he did so it 
always became inflamed. The seconds were ticking by. He 
was conscious of nothing except the blankness of the page 
in front of him, the itching of the skin above his ankle, the 
blaring of the music, and a slight booziness caused by the 

Suddenly he began writing in sheer panic, only imper- 
fectly aware of what he was setting down. His small but 
childish handwriting straggled up and down the page, shed- 
ding first its capital letters and finally even its full stops: 

April 4th, 1984. Last night to the flicks. All war films. One 
very good one of a ship full of refugees being bombed 
somewhere in the Mediterranean. Audience much amused 
by shots of a great huge fat man trying to swim away with 
a helicopter after him, first you saw him wallowing along 
in the water like a porpoise, then you saw him through the 
helicopters gunsights, then he was full of holes and the sea 
round him turned pink and he sank as suddenly as though 
the holes had let in the water, audience shouting with laughter 11 

when he sank, then you saw a lifeboat full of children with a 
helicopter hovering over it. there was a middle-aged woman 
might have been a Jewess sitting up in the bow with a little 
boy about three years old in her arms, little boy screaming 
with fright and hiding his head between her breasts as if he 
was trying to burrow right into her and the woman putting 
her arms round him and comforting him although she was 
blue with fright herself all the time covering him up as much 
as possible as if she thought her arms could keep the bullets 
off him. then the helicopter planted a 20 kilo bomb in among 
them terrific flash and the boat went all to matchwood, then 
there was a wonderful shot of a child's arm going up up up 
right up into the air a helicopter with a camera in its nose 
must have followed it up and there was a lot of applause from 
the party seats but a woman down in the prole part of the 
house suddenly started kicking up a fuss and shouting they 
didnt oughter of showed it not in front of kids they didnt it 
aint right not in front of kids it aint until the police turned 
her turned her out i dont suppose anything happened to her 
nobody cares what the proles say typical prole reaction they 

Winston stopped writing, partly because he was suffer- 
ing from cramp. He did not know what had made him pour 
out this stream of rubbish. But the curious thing was that 
while he was doing so a totally different memory had clar- 
ified itself in his mind, to the point where he almost felt 
equal to writing it down. It was, he now realized, because 
of this other incident that he had suddenly decided to come 


home and begin the diary today. 

It had happened that morning at the Ministry, if any- 
thing so nebulous could be said to happen. 

It was nearly eleven hundred, and in the Records De- 
partment, where Winston worked, they were dragging the 
chairs out of the cubicles and grouping them in the cen- 
tre of the hall opposite the big telescreen, in preparation for 
the Two Minutes Hate. Winston was just taking his place 
in one of the middle rows when two people whom he knew 
by sight, but had never spoken to, came unexpectedly into 
the room. One of them was a girl whom he often passed in 
the corridors. He did not know her name, but he knew that 
she worked in the Fiction Department. Presumably — since 
he had sometimes seen her with oily hands and carrying a 
spanner — she had some mechanical job on one of the nov- 
el-writing machines. She was a bold-looking girl, of about 
twenty-seven, with thick hair, a freckled face, and swift, 
athletic movements. A narrow scarlet sash, emblem of the 
Junior Anti-Sex League, was wound several times round 
the waist of her overalls, just tightly enough to bring out the 
shapeliness of her hips. Winston had disliked her from the 
very first moment of seeing her. He knew the reason. It was 
because of the atmosphere of hockey-fields and cold baths 
and community hikes and general clean-mindedness which 
she managed to carry about with her. He disliked nearly all 
women, and especially the young and pretty ones. It was al- 
ways the women, and above all the young ones, who were 
the most bigoted adherents of the Party, the swallowers 
of slogans, the amateur spies and nosers-out of unortho- 

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doxy. But this particular girl gave him the impression of 
being more dangerous than most. Once when they passed 
in the corridor she gave him a quick sidelong glance which 
seemed to pierce right into him and for a moment had filled 
him with black terror. The idea had even crossed his mind 
that she might be an agent of the Thought Police. That, it 
was true, was very unlikely. Still, he continued to feel a pe- 
culiar uneasiness, which had fear mixed up in it as well as 
hostility, whenever she was anywhere near him. 

The other person was a man named O'Brien, a member 
of the Inner Party and holder of some post so important 
and remote that Winston had only a dim idea of its nature. 
A momentary hush passed over the group of people round 
the chairs as they saw the black overalls of an Inner Party 
member approaching. O'Brien was a large, burly man with 
a thick neck and a coarse, humorous, brutal face. In spite of 
his formidable appearance he had a certain charm of man- 
ner. He had a trick of resettling his spectacles on his nose 
which was curiously disarming — in some indefinable way, 
curiously civilized. It was a gesture which, if anyone had 
still thought in such terms, might have recalled an eigh- 
teenth-century nobleman offering his snuffbox. Winston 
had seen O'Brien perhaps a dozen times in almost as many 
years. He felt deeply drawn to him, and not solely because 
he was intrigued by the contrast between O'Brien's urbane 
manner and his prize-fighter's physique. Much more it was 
because of a secretly held belief— or perhaps not even a be- 
lief, merely a hope — that O'Brien's political orthodoxy was 
not perfect. Something in his face suggested it irresistibly. 


And again, perhaps it was not even unorthodoxy that was 
written in his face, but simply intelligence. But at any rate 
he had the appearance of being a person that you could 
talk to if somehow you could cheat the telescreen and get 
him alone. Winston had never made the smallest effort to 
verify this guess: indeed, there was no way of doing so. At 
this moment O'Brien glanced at his wrist-watch, saw that it 
was nearly eleven hundred, and evidently decided to stay in 
the Records Department until the Two Minutes Hate was 
over. He took a chair in the same row as Winston, a couple 
of places away. A small, sandy-haired woman who worked 
in the next cubicle to Winston was between them. The girl 
with dark hair was sitting immediately behind. 

The next moment a hideous, grinding speech, as of some 
monstrous machine running without oil, burst from the 
big telescreen at the end of the room. It was a noise that set 
one's teeth on edge and bristled the hair at the back of one's 
neck. The Hate had started. 

As usual, the face of Emmanuel Goldstein, the Enemy of 
the People, had flashed on to the screen. There were hisses 
here and there among the audience. The little sandy-haired 
woman gave a squeak of mingled fear and disgust. Gold- 
stein was the renegade and backslider who once, long ago 
(how long ago, nobody quite remembered), had been one of 
the leading figures of the Party, almost on a level with Big 
Brother himself, and then had engaged in counter-revolu- 
tionary activities, had been condemned to death, and had 
mysteriously escaped and disappeared. The programmes of 
the Two Minutes Hate varied from day to day, but there was 

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none in which Goldstein was not the principal figure. He 
was the primal traitor, the earliest defiler of the Party's pu- 
rity. All subsequent crimes against the Party, all treacheries, 
acts of sabotage, heresies, deviations, sprang directly out 
of his teaching. Somewhere or other he was still alive and 
hatching his conspiracies: perhaps somewhere beyond the 
sea, under the protection of his foreign paymasters, perhaps 
even — so it was occasionally rumoured — in some hiding- 
place in Oceania itself. 

Winston's diaphragm was constricted. He could never 
see the face of Goldstein without a painful mixture of emo- 
tions. It was a lean Jewish face, with a great fuzzy aureole of 
white hair and a small goatee beard — a clever face, and yet 
somehow inherently despicable, with a kind of senile sil- 
liness in the long thin nose, near the end of which a pair 
of spectacles was perched. It resembled the face of a sheep, 
and the voice, too, had a sheep-like quality. Goldstein was 
delivering his usual venomous attack upon the doctrines 
of the Party — an attack so exaggerated and perverse that a 
child should have been able to see through it, and yet just 
plausible enough to fill one with an alarmed feeling that 
other people, less level-headed than oneself, might be taken 
in by it. He was abusing Big Brother, he was denouncing 
the dictatorship of the Party, he was demanding the imme- 
diate conclusion of peace with Eurasia, he was advocating 
freedom of speech, freedom of the Press, freedom of as- 
sembly, freedom of thought, he was crying hysterically that 
the revolution had been betrayed — and all this in rapid 
polysyllabic speech which was a sort of parody of the ha- 


bitual style of the orators of the Party, and even contained 
Newspeak words: more Newspeak words, indeed, than any 
Party member would normally use in real life. And all the 
while, lest one should be in any doubt as to the reality which 
Goldstein's specious claptrap covered, behind his head on 
the telescreen there marched the endless columns of the 
Eurasian army — row after row of solid-looking men with 
expressionless Asiatic faces, who swam up to the surface 
of the screen and vanished, to be replaced by others exact- 
ly similar. The dull rhythmic tramp of the soldiers' boots 
formed the background to Goldstein's bleating voice. 

Before the Hate had proceeded for thirty seconds, uncon- 
trollable exclamations of rage were breaking out from half 
the people in the room. The self-satisfied sheep-like face on 
the screen, and the terrifying power of the Eurasian army 
behind it, were too much to be borne: besides, the sight or 
even the thought of Goldstein produced fear and anger au- 
tomatically. He was an object of hatred more constant than 
either Eurasia or Eastasia, since when Oceania was at war 
with one of these Powers it was generally at peace with the 
other. But what was strange was that although Goldstein 
was hated and despised by everybody, although every day 
and a thousand times a day, on platforms, on the telescreen, 
in newspapers, in books, his theories were refuted, smashed, 
ridiculed, held up to the general gaze for the pitiful rub- 
bish that they were — in spite of all this, his influence never 
seemed to grow less. Always there were fresh dupes waiting 
to be seduced by him. A day never passed when spies and 
saboteurs acting under his directions were not unmasked 

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by the Thought Police. He was the commander of a vast 
shadowy army, an underground network of conspirators 
dedicated to the overthrow of the State. The Brotherhood, 
its name was supposed to be. There were also whispered 
stories of a terrible book, a compendium of all the heresies, 
of which Goldstein was the author and which circulated 
clandestinely here and there. It was a book without a title. 
People referred to it, if at all, simply as THE BOOK. But one 
knew of such things only through vague rumours. Neither 
the Brotherhood nor THE BOOK was a subject that any or- 
dinary Party member would mention if there was a way of 
avoiding it. 

In its second minute the Hate rose to a frenzy. People 
were leaping up and down in their places and shouting 
at the tops of their voices in an effort to drown the mad- 
dening bleating voice that came from the screen. The 
little sandy-haired woman had turned bright pink, and 
her mouth was opening and shutting like that of a landed 
fish. Even O'Brien's heavy face was flushed. He was sitting 
very straight in his chair, his powerful chest swelling and 
quivering as though he were standing up to the assault of a 
wave. The dark-haired girl behind Winston had begun cry- 
ing out 'Swine! Swine! Swine!' and suddenly she picked up 
a heavy Newspeak dictionary and flung it at the screen. It 
struck Goldstein's nose and bounced off; the voice contin- 
ued inexorably. In a lucid moment Winston found that he 
was shouting with the others and kicking his heel violent- 
ly against the rung of his chair. The horrible thing about 
the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act 

18 1984 

a part, but, on the contrary, that it was impossible to avoid 
joining in. Within thirty seconds any pretence was always 
unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, 
a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge- 
hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people 
like an electric current, turning one even against one's will 
into a grimacing, screaming lunatic. And yet the rage that 
one felt was an abstract, undirected emotion which could 
be switched from one object to another like the flame of a 
blowlamp. Thus, at one moment Winston's hatred was not 
turned against Goldstein at all, but, on the contrary, against 
Big Brother, the Party, and the Thought Police; and at such 
moments his heart went out to the lonely, derided heretic 
on the screen, sole guardian of truth and sanity in a world 
of lies. And yet the very next instant he was at one with the 
people about him, and all that was said of Goldstein seemed 
to him to be true. At those moments his secret loathing of 
Big Brother changed into adoration, and Big Brother seemed 
to tower up, an invincible, fearless protector, standing like 
a rock against the hordes of Asia, and Goldstein, in spite 
of his isolation, his helplessness, and the doubt that hung 
about his very existence, seemed like some sinister enchant- 
er, capable by the mere power of his voice of wrecking the 
structure of civilization. 

It was even possible, at moments, to switch one's ha- 
tred this way or that by a voluntary act. Suddenly, by the 
sort of violent effort with which one wrenches one's head 
away from the pillow in a nightmare, Winston succeeded 
in transferring his hatred from the face on the screen to 

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the dark-haired girl behind him. Vivid, beautiful hallucina- 
tions flashed through his mind. He would flog her to death 
with a rubber truncheon. He would tie her naked to a stake 
and shoot her full of arrows like Saint Sebastian. He would 
ravish her and cut her throat at the moment of climax. Bet- 
ter than before, moreover, he realized WHY it was that he 
hated her. He hated her because she was young and pretty 
and sexless, because he wanted to go to bed with her and 
would never do so, because round her sweet supple waist, 
which seemed to ask you to encircle it with your arm, there 
was only the odious scarlet sash, aggressive symbol of chas- 

The Hate rose to its climax. The voice of Goldstein had 
become an actual sheep's bleat, and for an instant the face 
changed into that of a sheep. Then the sheep -face melted into 
the figure of a Eurasian soldier who seemed to be advancing, 
huge and terrible, his sub-machine gun roaring, and seem- 
ing to spring out of the surface of the screen, so that some 
of the people in the front row actually flinched backwards 
in their seats. But in the same moment, drawing a deep sigh 
of relief from everybody, the hostile figure melted into the 
face of Big Brother, black-haired, black-moustachio'd, full 
of power and mysterious calm, and so vast that it almost 
filled up the screen. Nobody heard what Big Brother was 
saying. It was merely a few words of encouragement, the 
sort of words that are uttered in the din of battle, not distin- 
guishable individually but restoring confidence by the fact 
of being spoken. Then the face of Big Brother faded away 
again, and instead the three slogans of the Party stood out 


in bold capitals: 



But the face of Big Brother seemed to persist for sever- 
al seconds on the screen, as though the impact that it had 
made on everyone's eyeballs was too vivid to wear off im- 
mediately. The little sandy-haired woman had flung herself 
forward over the back of the chair in front of her. With a 
tremulous murmur that sounded like 'My Saviour!' she ex- 
tended her arms towards the screen. Then she buried her 
face in her hands. It was apparent that she was uttering a 

At this moment the entire group of people broke into a 
deep, slow, rhythmical chant of 'B-BL.B-B!' — over and over 
again, very slowly, with a long pause between the first 'B' 
and the second — a heavy, murmurous sound, somehow 
curiously savage, in the background of which one seemed 
to hear the stamp of naked feet and the throbbing of tom- 
toms. For perhaps as much as thirty seconds they kept it 
up. It was a refrain that was often heard in moments of 
overwhelming emotion. Partly it was a sort of hymn to the 
wisdom and majesty of Big Brother, but still more it was 
an act of self-hypnosis, a deliberate drowning of conscious- 
ness by means of rhythmic noise. Winston's entrails seemed 
to grow cold. In the Two Minutes Hate he could not help 
sharing in the general delirium, but this sub-human chant- 21 

ing of 'B-BL.B-B!' always filled him with horror. Of course 
he chanted with the rest: it was impossible to do otherwise. 
To dissemble your feelings, to control your face, to do what 
everyone else was doing, was an instinctive reaction. But 
there was a space of a couple of seconds during which the 
expression of his eyes might conceivably have betrayed him. 
And it was exactly at this moment that the significant thing 
happened — if, indeed, it did happen. 

Momentarily he caught O'Brien's eye. O'Brien had stood 
up. He had taken off his spectacles and was in the act of 
resettling them on his nose with his characteristic gesture. 
But there was a fraction of a second when their eyes met, 
and for as long as it took to happen Winston knew — yes, he 
KNEW! — that O'Brien was thinking the same thing as him- 
self. An unmistakable message had passed. It was as though 
their two minds had opened and the thoughts were flowing 
from one into the other through their eyes. 'I am with you,' 
O'Brien seemed to be saying to him. 'I know precisely what 
you are feeling. I know all about your contempt, your ha- 
tred, your disgust. But don't worry, I am on your side!' And 
then the flash of intelligence was gone, and O'Brien's face 
was as inscrutable as everybody else's. 

That was all, and he was already uncertain whether it had 
happened. Such incidents never had any sequel. All that they 
did was to keep alive in him the belief, or hope, that oth- 
ers besides himself were the enemies of the Party. Perhaps 
the rumours of vast underground conspiracies were true 
after all — perhaps the Brotherhood really existed! It was 
impossible, in spite of the endless arrests and confessions 


and executions, to be sure that the Brotherhood was not 
simply a myth. Some days he believed in it, some days not. 
There was no evidence, only fleeting glimpses that might 
mean anything or nothing: snatches of overheard conver- 
sation, faint scribbles on lavatory walls — once, even, when 
two strangers met, a small movement of the hand which 
had looked as though it might be a signal of recognition. It 
was all guesswork: very likely he had imagined everything. 
He had gone back to his cubicle without looking at O'Brien 
again. The idea of following up their momentary contact 
hardly crossed his mind. It would have been inconceivably 
dangerous even if he had known how to set about doing it. 
For a second, two seconds, they had exchanged an equivo- 
cal glance, and that was the end of the story. But even that 
was a memorable event, in the locked loneliness in which 
one had to live. 

Winston roused himself and sat up straighter. He let out 
a belch. The gin was rising from his stomach. 

His eyes re-focused on the page. He discovered that 
while he sat helplessly musing he had also been writing, as 
though by automatic action. And it was no longer the same 
cramped, awkward handwriting as before. His pen had slid 
voluptuously over the smooth paper, printing in large neat 

over and over again, filling half a page. 

He could not help feeling a twinge of panic. It was ab- 
surd, since the writing of those particular words was not 23 

more dangerous than the initial act of opening the diary, 
but for a moment he was tempted to tear out the spoiled 
pages and abandon the enterprise altogether. 

He did not do so, however, because he knew that it was 
useless. Whether he wrote DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER, 
or whether he refrained from writing it, made no differ- 
ence. Whether he went on with the diary, or whether he did 
not go on with it, made no difference. The Thought Police 
would get him just the same. He had committed — would 
still have committed, even if he had never set pen to pa- 
per — the essential crime that contained all others in itself. 
Thoughtcrime, they called it. Thoughtcrime was not a thing 
that could be concealed for ever. You might dodge success- 
fully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they 
were bound to get you. 

It was always at night — the arrests invariably happened 
at night. The sudden jerk out of sleep, the rough hand shak- 
ing your shoulder, the lights glaring in your eyes, the ring of 
hard faces round the bed. In the vast majority of cases there 
was no trial, no report of the arrest. People simply disap- 
peared, always during the night. Your name was removed 
from the registers, every record of everything you had ever 
done was wiped out, your one-time existence was denied 
and then forgotten. You were abolished, annihilated: VA- 
PORIZED was the usual word. 

For a moment he was seized by a kind of hysteria. He be- 
gan writing in a hurried untidy scrawl: 

theyll shoot me i don't care theyll shoot me in the back of the 

24 1984 

neck i dont care down with big brother they always shoot you 
in the back of the neck i dont care down with big brother 

He sat back in his chair, slightly ashamed of himself, and 
laid down the pen. The next moment he started violently. 
There was a knocking at the door. 

Already! He sat as still as a mouse, in the futile hope that 
whoever it was might go away after a single attempt. But no, 
the knocking was repeated. The worst thing of all would be 
to delay. His heart was thumping like a drum, but his face, 
from long habit, was probably expressionless. He got up and 
moved heavily towards the door. 

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Chapter 2 

As he put his hand to the door-knob Winston saw that 
he had left the diary open on the table. DOWN WITH 
BIG BROTHER was written all over it, in letters almost big 
enough to be legible across the room. It was an inconceiv- 
ably stupid thing to have done. But, he realized, even in his 
panic he had not wanted to smudge the creamy paper by 
shutting the book while the ink was wet. 

He drew in his breath and opened the door. Instantly 
a warm wave of relief flowed through him. A colourless, 
crushed-looking woman, with wispy hair and a lined face, 
was standing outside. 

'Oh, comrade,' she began in a dreary, whining sort of 
voice, 'I thought I heard you come in. Do you think you 
could come across and have a look at our kitchen sink? It's 
got blocked up and ' 

It was Mrs Parsons, the wife of a neighbour on the same 
floor. ('Mrs' was a word somewhat discountenanced by the 
Party — you were supposed to call everyone 'comrade' — 
but with some women one used it instinctively.) She was 
a woman of about thirty, but looking much older. One had 
the impression that there was dust in the creases of her face. 
Winston followed her down the passage. These amateur re- 
pair jobs were an almost daily irritation. Victory Mansions 
were old flats, built in 1930 or thereabouts, and were falling 


to pieces. The plaster flaked constantly from ceilings and 
walls, the pipes burst in every hard frost, the roof leaked 
whenever there was snow, the heating system was usually 
running at half steam when it was not closed down alto- 
gether from motives of economy. Repairs, except what you 
could do for yourself, had to be sanctioned by remote com- 
mittees which were liable to hold up even the mending of a 
window-pane for two years. 

'Of course it's only because Tom isn't home,' said Mrs 
Parsons vaguely. 

The Parsons' flat was bigger than Winston's, and dingy 
in a different way. Everything had a battered, trampled-on 
look, as though the place had just been visited by some large 
violent animal. Games impedimenta — hockey-sticks, box- 
ing-gloves, a burst football, a pair of sweaty shorts turned 
inside out — lay all over the floor, and on the table there was 
a litter of dirty dishes and dog-eared exercise-books. On 
the walls were scarlet banners of the Youth League and the 
Spies, and a full-sized poster of Big Brother. There was the 
usual boiled-cabbage smell, common to the whole building, 
but it was shot through by a sharper reek of sweat, which — 
one knew this at the first sniff, though it was hard to say 
how — was the sweat of some person not present at the mo- 
ment. In another room someone with a comb and a piece of 
toilet paper was trying to keep tune with the military music 
which was still issuing from the telescreen. 

'It's the children,' said Mrs Parsons, casting a half-ap- 
prehensive glance at the door. 'They haven't been out today. 
And of course ' 

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She had a habit of breaking off her sentences in the mid- 
dle. The kitchen sink was full nearly to the brim with filthy 
greenish water which smelt worse than ever of cabbage. 
Winston knelt down and examined the angle-joint of the 
pipe. He hated using his hands, and he hated bending down, 
which was always liable to start him coughing. Mrs Parsons 
looked on helplessly. 

'Of course if Tom was home he'd put it right in a mo- 
ment,' she said. 'He loves anything like that. He's ever so 
good with his hands, Tom is.' 

Parsons was Winston's fellow- employee at the Minis- 
try of Truth. He was a fattish but active man of paralysing 
stupidity, a mass of imbecile enthusiasms — one of those 
completely unquestioning, devoted drudges on whom, 
more even than on the Thought Police, the stability of the 
Party depended. At thirty-five he had just been unwilling- 
ly evicted from the Youth League, and before graduating 
into the Youth League he had managed to stay on in the 
Spies for a year beyond the statutory age. At the Ministry 
he was employed in some subordinate post for which in- 
telligence was not required, but on the other hand he was 
a leading figure on the Sports Committee and all the other 
committees engaged in organizing community hikes, spon- 
taneous demonstrations, savings campaigns, and voluntary 
activities generally. He would inform you with quiet pride, 
between whiffs of his pipe, that he had put in an appearance 
at the Community Centre every evening for the past four 
years. An overpowering smell of sweat, a sort of uncon- 
scious testimony to the strenuousness of his life, followed 


him about wherever he went, and even remained behind 
him after he had gone. 

'Have you got a spanner?' said Winston, fiddling with the 
nut on the angle-joint. 

'A spanner,' said Mrs Parsons, immediately becoming 
invertebrate. 'I don't know, I'm sure. Perhaps the children — 

There was a trampling of boots and another blast on the 
comb as the children charged into the living-room. Mrs 
Parsons brought the spanner. Winston let out the water 
and disgustedly removed the clot of human hair that had 
blocked up the pipe. He cleaned his fingers as best he could 
in the cold water from the tap and went back into the other 

'Up with your hands!' yelled a savage voice. 

A handsome, tough-looking boy of nine had popped up 
from behind the table and was menacing him with a toy 
automatic pistol, while his small sister, about two years 
younger, made the same gesture with a fragment of wood. 
Both of them were dressed in the blue shorts, grey shirts, 
and red neckerchiefs which were the uniform of the Spies. 
Winston raised his hands above his head, but with an un- 
easy feeling, so vicious was the boy's demeanour, that it was 
not altogether a game. 

'You're a traitor!' yelled the boy. 'You're a thought- crimi- 
nal! You're a Eurasian spy! I'll shoot you, I'll vaporize you, 
I'll send you to the salt mines!' 

Suddenly they were both leaping round him, shouting 
'Traitor!' and 'Thought- criminal!' the little girl imitating 29 

her brother in every movement. It was somehow slightly 
frightening, like the gambolling of tiger cubs which will 
soon grow up into man-eaters. There was a sort of calculat- 
ing ferocity in the boy's eye, a quite evident desire to hit or 
kick Winston and a consciousness of being very nearly big 
enough to do so. It was a good job it was not a real pistol he 
was holding, Winston thought. 

Mrs Parsons' eyes flitted nervously from Winston to the 
children, and back again. In the better light of the living- 
room he noticed with interest that there actually was dust 
in the creases of her face. 

"They do get so noisy' she said. 'They're disappointed 
because they couldn't go to see the hanging, that's what it 
is. I'm too busy to take them, and Tom won't be back from 
work in time.' 

'Why can't we go and see the hanging?' roared the boy in 
his huge voice. 

'Want to see the hanging! Want to see the hanging!' 
chanted the little girl, still capering round. 

Some Eurasian prisoners, guilty of war crimes, were to 
be hanged in the Park that evening, Winston remembered. 
This happened about once a month, and was a popular spec- 
tacle. Children always clamoured to be taken to see it. He 
took his leave of Mrs Parsons and made for the door. But he 
had not gone six steps down the passage when something 
hit the back of his neck an agonizingly painful blow. It was 
as though a red-hot wire had been jabbed into him. He spun 
round just in time to see Mrs Parsons dragging her son back 
into the doorway while the boy pocketed a catapult. 


'Goldstein!' bellowed the boy as the door closed on him. 
But what most struck Winston was the look of helpless 
fright on the woman's greyish face. 

Back in the flat he stepped quickly past the telescreen 
and sat down at the table again, still rubbing his neck. The 
music from the telescreen had stopped. Instead, a clipped 
military voice was reading out, with a sort of brutal relish, 
a description of the armaments of the new Floating For- 
tress which had just been anchored between Iceland and 
the Faroe Islands. 

With those children, he thought, that wretched wom- 
an must lead a life of terror. Another year, two years, and 
they would be watching her night and day for symptoms of 
unorthodoxy Nearly all children nowadays were horrible. 
What was worst of all was that by means of such organi- 
zations as the Spies they were systematically turned into 
ungovernable little savages, and yet this produced in them 
no tendency whatever to rebel against the discipline of the 
Party. On the contrary, they adored the Party and every- 
thing connected with it. The songs, the processions, the 
banners, the hiking, the drilling with dummy rifles, the 
yelling of slogans, the worship of Big Brother — it was all a 
sort of glorious game to them. All their ferocity was turned 
outwards, against the enemies of the State, against foreign- 
ers, traitors, saboteurs, thought-criminals. It was almost 
normal for people over thirty to be frightened of their own 
children. And with good reason, for hardly a week passed 
in which 'The Times' did not carry a paragraph describing 
how some eavesdropping little sneak — 'child hero' was the 

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phrase generally used — had overheard some compromising 
remark and denounced its parents to the Thought Police. 

The sting of the catapult bullet had worn off. He picked 
up his pen half-heartedly, wondering whether he could find 
something more to write in the diary. Suddenly he began 
thinking of O'Brien again. 

Years ago — how long was it? Seven years it must be — he 
had dreamed that he was walking through a pitch-dark 
room. And someone sitting to one side of him had said as 
he passed: 'We shall meet in the place where there is no 
darkness.' It was said very quietly, almost casually — a state- 
ment, not a command. He had walked on without pausing. 
What was curious was that at the time, in the dream, the 
words had not made much impression on him. It was only 
later and by degrees that they had seemed to take on signifi- 
cance. He could not now remember whether it was before 
or after having the dream that he had seen O'Brien for the 
first time, nor could he remember when he had first identi- 
fied the voice as O'Brien's. But at any rate the identification 
existed. It was O'Brien who had spoken to him out of the 

Winston had never been able to feel sure — even after this 
morning's flash of the eyes it was still impossible to be sure 
whether O'Brien was a friend or an enemy. Nor did it even 
seem to matter greatly. There was a link of understanding 
between them, more important than affection or partisan- 
ship. 'We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness,' 
he had said. Winston did not know what it meant, only that 
in some way or another it would come true. 


The voice from the telescreen paused. A trumpet call, 
clear and beautiful, floated into the stagnant air. The voice 
continued raspingly: 

'Attention! Your attention, please! A newsflash has this 
moment arrived from the Malabar front. Our forces in South 
India have won a glorious victory. I am authorized to say 
that the action we are now reporting may well bring the war 
within measurable distance of its end. Here is the newsflash — 

Bad news coming, thought Winston. And sure enough, 
following on a gory description of the annihilation of a 
Eurasian army, with stupendous figures of killed and pris- 
oners, came the announcement that, as from next week, the 
chocolate ration would be reduced from thirty grammes to 

Winston belched again. The gin was wearing off, leaving 
a deflated feeling. The telescreen — perhaps to celebrate the 
victory, perhaps to drown the memory of the lost chocolate — 
crashed into 'Oceania, 'tis for thee'. You were supposed to 
stand to attention. However, in his present position he was 

'Oceania, 'tis for thee' gave way to lighter music. Win- 
ston walked over to the window, keeping his back to the 
telescreen. The day was still cold and clear. Somewhere far 
away a rocket bomb exploded with a dull, reverberating 
roar. About twenty or thirty of them a week were falling on 
London at present. 33 

Down in the street the wind flapped the torn poster to 
and fro, and the word INGSOC fitfully appeared and van- 
ished. Ingsoc. The sacred principles of Ingsoc. Newspeak, 
doublethink, the mutability of the past. He felt as though 
he were wandering in the forests of the sea bottom, lost in 
a monstrous world where he himself was the monster. He 
was alone. The past was dead, the future was unimaginable. 
What certainty had he that a single human creature now 
living was on his side? And what way of knowing that the 
dominion of the Party would not endure FOR EVER? Like 
an answer, the three slogans on the white face of the Minis- 
try of Truth came back to him: 



He took a twenty-five cent piece out of his pocket. There, 
too, in tiny clear lettering, the same slogans were inscribed, 
and on the other face of the coin the head of Big Broth- 
er. Even from the coin the eyes pursued you. On coins, on 
stamps, on the covers of books, on banners, on posters, and 
on the wrappings of a cigarette packet — everywhere. Al- 
ways the eyes watching you and the voice enveloping you. 
Asleep or awake, working or eating, indoors or out of doors, 
in the bath or in bed — no escape. Nothing was your own ex- 
cept the few cubic centimetres inside your skull. 

The sun had shifted round, and the myriad windows of 
the Ministry of Truth, with the light no longer shining on 


them, looked grim as the loopholes of a fortress. His heart 
quailed before the enormous pyramidal shape. It was too 
strong, it could not be stormed. A thousand rocket bombs 
would not batter it down. He wondered again for whom he 
was writing the diary. For the future, for the past — for an 
age that might be imaginary. And in front of him there lay 
not death but annihilation. The diary would be reduced 
to ashes and himself to vapour. Only the Thought Police 
would read what he had written, before they wiped it out of 
existence and out of memory. How could you make appeal 
to the future when not a trace of you, not even an anony- 
mous word scribbled on a piece of paper, could physically 

The telescreen struck fourteen. He must leave in ten min- 
utes. He had to be back at work by fourteen-thirty 

Curiously, the chiming of the hour seemed to have put 
new heart into him. He was a lonely ghost uttering a truth 
that nobody would ever hear. But so long as he uttered it, 
in some obscure way the continuity was not broken. It was 
not by making yourself heard but by staying sane that you 
carried on the human heritage. He went back to the table, 
dipped his pen, and wrote: 

To the future or to the past, to a time when thought is 
free, when men are different from one another and do not 
live alone — to a time when truth exists and what is done 
cannot be undone: From the age of uniformity, from the 
age of solitude, from the age of Big Brother, from the age of 
doublethink — greetings! 35 

He was already dead, he reflected. It seemed to him that 
it was only now, when he had begun to be able to formulate 
his thoughts, that he had taken the decisive step. The conse- 
quences of every act are included in the act itself. He wrote: 

Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime IS death. 

Now he had recognized himself as a dead man it became 
important to stay alive as long as possible. Two fingers of his 
right hand were inkstained. It was exactly the kind of detail 
that might betray you. Some nosing zealot in the Ministry 
(a woman, probably: someone like the little sandy-haired 
woman or the dark-haired girl from the Fiction Depart- 
ment) might start wondering why he had been writing 
during the lunch interval, why he had used an old-fash- 
ioned pen, WHAT he had been writing — and then drop a 
hint in the appropriate quarter. He went to the bathroom 
and carefully scrubbed the ink away with the gritty dark- 
brown soap which rasped your skin like sandpaper and was 
therefore well adapted for this purpose. 

He put the diary away in the drawer. It was quite useless 
to think of hiding it, but he could at least make sure whether 
or not its existence had been discovered. A hair laid across 
the page- ends was too obvious. With the tip of his finger he 
picked up an identifiable grain of whitish dust and depos- 
ited it on the corner of the cover, where it was bound to be 
shaken off if the book was moved. 

36 1984 

Chapter 3 

Winston was dreaming of his mother. 
He must, he thought, have been ten or elev- 
en years old when his mother had disappeared. She was 
a tall, statuesque, rather silent woman with slow move- 
ments and magnificent fair hair. His father he remembered 
more vaguely as dark and thin, dressed always in neat dark 
clothes (Winston remembered especially the very thin soles 
of his father's shoes) and wearing spectacles. The two of 
them must evidently have been swallowed up in one of the 
first great purges of the fifties. 

At this moment his mother was sitting in some place 
deep down beneath him, with his young sister in her arms. 
He did not remember his sister at all, except as a tiny, feeble 
baby, always silent, with large, watchful eyes. Both of them 
were looking up at him. They were down in some subter- 
ranean place — the bottom of a well, for instance, or a very 
deep grave — but it was a place which, already far below him, 
was itself moving downwards. They were in the saloon of 
a sinking ship, looking up at him through the darkening 
water. There was still air in the saloon, they could still see 
him and he them, but all the while they were sinking down, 
down into the green waters which in another moment must 
hide them from sight for ever. He was out in the light and 
air while they were being sucked down to death, and they 

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were down there because he was up here. He knew it and 
they knew it, and he could see the knowledge in their faces. 
There was no reproach either in their faces or in their hearts, 
only the knowledge that they must die in order that he 
might remain alive, and that this was part of the unavoid- 
able order of things. 

He could not remember what had happened, but he knew 
in his dream that in some way the lives of his mother and 
his sister had been sacrificed to his own. It was one of those 
dreams which, while retaining the characteristic dream 
scenery, are a continuation of one's intellectual life, and 
in which one becomes aware of facts and ideas which still 
seem new and valuable after one is awake. The thing that 
now suddenly struck Winston was that his mother's death, 
nearly thirty years ago, had been tragic and sorrowful in a 
way that was no longer possible. Tragedy, he perceived, be- 
longed to the ancient time, to a time when there was still 
privacy, love, and friendship, and when the members of a 
family stood by one another without needing to know the 
reason. His mother's memory tore at his heart because she 
had died loving him, when he was too young and selfish 
to love her in return, and because somehow, he did not re- 
member how, she had sacrificed herself to a conception of 
loyalty that was private and unalterable. Such things, he 
saw, could not happen today. Today there were fear, hatred, 
and pain, but no dignity of emotion, no deep or complex 
sorrows. All this he seemed to see in the large eyes of his 
mother and his sister, looking up at him through the green 
water, hundreds of fathoms down and still sinking. 

38 1984 

Suddenly he was standing on short springy turf, on a 
summer evening when the slanting rays of the sun gilded 
the ground. The landscape that he was looking at recurred 
so often in his dreams that he was never fully certain 
whether or not he had seen it in the real world. In his wak- 
ing thoughts he called it the Golden Country. It was an old, 
rabbit-bitten pasture, with a foot-track wandering across it 
and a molehill here and there. In the ragged hedge on the 
opposite side of the field the boughs of the elm trees were 
swaying very faintly in the breeze, their leaves just stirring 
in dense masses like women's hair. Somewhere near at hand, 
though out of sight, there was a clear, slow-moving stream 
where dace were swimming in the pools under the willow 

The girl with dark hair was coming towards them across 
the field. With what seemed a single movement she tore off 
her clothes and flung them disdainfully aside. Her body 
was white and smooth, but it aroused no desire in him, in- 
deed he barely looked at it. What overwhelmed him in that 
instant was admiration for the gesture with which she had 
thrown her clothes aside. With its grace and carelessness 
it seemed to annihilate a whole culture, a whole system 
of thought, as though Big Brother and the Party and the 
Thought Police could all be swept into nothingness by a sin- 
gle splendid movement of the arm. That too was a gesture 
belonging to the ancient time. Winston woke up with the 
word 'Shakespeare' on his lips. 

The telescreen was giving forth an ear-splitting whistle 
which continued on the same note for thirty seconds. It 39 

was nought seven fifteen, getting-up time for office workers. 
Winston wrenched his body out of bed — naked, for a mem- 
ber of the Outer Party received only 3,000 clothing coupons 
annually, and a suit of pyjamas was 600 — and seized a din- 
gy singlet and a pair of shorts that were lying across a chair. 
The Physical Jerks would begin in three minutes. The next 
moment he was doubled up by a violent coughing fit which 
nearly always attacked him soon after waking up. It emptied 
his lungs so completely that he could only begin breathing 
again by lying on his back and taking a series of deep gasps. 
His veins had swelled with the effort of the cough, and the 
varicose ulcer had started itching. 

'Thirty to forty group!' yapped a piercing female voice. 
'Thirty to forty group! Take your places, please. Thirties to 

Winston sprang to attention in front of the telescreen, 
upon which the image of a youngish woman, scrawny but 
muscular, dressed in tunic and gym-shoes, had already ap- 

'Arms bending and stretching!' she rapped out. 'Take 
your time by me. ONE, two, three, four! ONE, two, three, 
four! Come on, comrades, put a bit of life into it! ONE, two, 
three four! ONE two, three, four!...' 

The pain of the coughing fit had not quite driven out of 
Winston's mind the impression made by his dream, and the 
rhythmic movements of the exercise restored it somewhat. 
As he mechanically shot his arms back and forth, wearing 
on his face the look of grim enjoyment which was consid- 
ered proper during the Physical Jerks, he was struggling 


to think his way backward into the dim period of his early 
childhood. It was extraordinarily difficult. Beyond the late 
fifties everything faded. When there were no external re- 
cords that you could refer to, even the outline of your own 
life lost its sharpness. You remembered huge events which 
had quite probably not happened, you remembered the 
detail of incidents without being able to recapture their at- 
mosphere, and there were long blank periods to which you 
could assign nothing. Everything had been different then. 
Even the names of countries, and their shapes on the map, 
had been different. Airstrip One, for instance, had not been 
so called in those days: it had been called England or Brit- 
ain, though London, he felt fairly certain, had always been 
called London. 

Winston could not definitely remember a time when his 
country had not been at war, but it was evident that there 
had been a fairly long interval of peace during his child- 
hood, because one of his early memories was of an air raid 
which appeared to take everyone by surprise. Perhaps it was 
the time when the atomic bomb had fallen on Colchester. 
He did not remember the raid itself, but he did remember 
his father's hand clutching his own as they hurried down, 
down, down into some place deep in the earth, round and 
round a spiral staircase which rang under his feet and which 
finally so wearied his legs that he began whimpering and 
they had to stop and rest. His mother, in her slow, dreamy 
way, was following a long way behind them. She was car- 
rying his baby sister — or perhaps it was only a bundle of 
blankets that she was carrying: he was not certain whether 

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his sister had been born then. Finally they had emerged into 
a noisy, crowded place which he had realized to be a Tube 

There were people sitting all over the stone-flagged floor, 
and other people, packed tightly together, were sitting on 
metal bunks, one above the other. Winston and his mother 
and father found themselves a place on the floor, and near 
them an old man and an old woman were sitting side by 
side on a bunk. The old man had on a decent dark suit and 
a black cloth cap pushed back from very white hair: his 
face was scarlet and his eyes were blue and full of tears. He 
reeked of gin. It seemed to breathe out of his skin in place 
of sweat, and one could have fancied that the tears welling 
from his eyes were pure gin. But though slightly drunk he 
was also suffering under some grief that was genuine and 
unbearable. In his childish way Winston grasped that some 
terrible thing, something that was beyond forgiveness and 
could never be remedied, had just happened. It also seemed 
to him that he knew what it was. Someone whom the old 
man loved — a little granddaughter, perhaps — had been 
killed. Every few minutes the old man kept repeating: 

'We didn't ought to 'ave trusted 'em. I said so, Ma, didn't I? 
That's what comes of trusting 'em. I said so all along. We 
didn't ought to 'ave trusted the buggers' 

But which buggers they didn't ought to have trusted 
Winston could not now remember. 

Since about that time, war had been literally continu- 


ous, though strictly speaking it had not always been the 
same war. For several months during his childhood there 
had been confused street fighting in London itself, some of 
which he remembered vividly But to trace out the history 
of the whole period, to say who was fighting whom at any 
given moment, would have been utterly impossible, since 
no written record, and no spoken word, ever made mention 
of any other alignment than the existing one. At this mo- 
ment, for example, in 1984 (if it was 1984), Oceania was at 
war with Eurasia and in alliance with Eastasia. In no pub- 
lic or private utterance was it ever admitted that the three 
powers had at any time been grouped along different lines. 
Actually, as Winston well knew, it was only four years since 
Oceania had been at war with Eastasia and in alliance with 
Eurasia. But that was merely a piece of furtive knowledge 
which he happened to possess because his memory was not 
satisfactorily under control. Officially the change of part- 
ners had never happened. Oceania was at war with Eurasia: 
therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia. The 
enemy of the moment always represented absolute evil, and 
it followed that any past or future agreement with him was 

The frightening thing, he reflected for the ten thou- 
sandth time as he forced his shoulders painfully backward 
(with hands on hips, they were gyrating their bodies from 
the waist, an exercise that was supposed to be good for the 
back muscles) — the frightening thing was that it might all 
be true. If the Party could thrust its hand into the past and 
say of this or that event, IT NEVER HAPPENED— that, 

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surely, was more terrifying than mere torture and death? 

The Party said that Oceania had never been in alliance 
with Eurasia. He, Winston Smith, knew that Oceania had 
been in alliance with Eurasia as short a time as four years 
ago. But where did that knowledge exist? Only in his own 
consciousness, which in any case must soon be annihilated. 
And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed — 
if all records told the same tale — then the lie passed into 
history and became truth. 'Who controls the past,' ran the 
Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present 
controls the past.' And yet the past, though of its nature al- 
terable, never had been altered. Whatever was true now was 
true from everlasting to everlasting. It was quite simple. All 
that was needed was an unending series of victories over 
your own memory. 'Reality control', they called it: in New- 
speak, 'doublethink'. 

'Stand easy!' barked the instructress, a little more genial- 


Winston sank his arms to his sides and slowly refilled 
his lungs with air. His mind slid away into the labyrin- 
thine world of doublethink. To know and not to know, to 
be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling care- 
fully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions 
which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory 
and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, 
to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe 
that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the 
guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary 
to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the 


moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget 
it again: and above all, to apply the same process to the pro- 
cess itself. That was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to 
induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become 
unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. 
Even to understand the word 'doublethink' involved the 
use of doublethink. 

The instructress had called them to attention again. 'And 
now let's see which of us can touch our toes!' she said en- 
thusiastically. 'Right over from the hips, please, comrades. 
ONE-two! ONE-two!...' 

Winston loathed this exercise, which sent shooting pains 
all the way from his heels to his buttocks and often ended by 
bringing on another coughing fit. The half-pleasant qual- 
ity went out of his meditations. The past, he reflected, had 
not merely been altered, it had been actually destroyed. For 
how could you establish even the most obvious fact when 
there existed no record outside your own memory? He tried 
to remember in what year he had first heard mention of 
Big Brother. He thought it must have been at some time in 
the sixties, but it was impossible to be certain. In the Party 
histories, of course, Big Brother figured as the leader and 
guardian of the Revolution since its very earliest days. His 
exploits had been gradually pushed backwards in time until 
already they extended into the fabulous world of the forties 
and the thirties, when the capitalists in their strange cylin- 
drical hats still rode through the streets of London in great 
gleaming motor-cars or horse carriages with glass sides. 
There was no knowing how much of this legend was true 45 

and how much invented. Winston could not even remem- 
ber at what date the Party itself had come into existence. He 
did not believe he had ever heard the word Ingsoc before 
1960, but it was possible that in its Oldspeak form — 'Eng- 
lish Socialism', that is to say — it had been current earlier. 
Everything melted into mist. Sometimes, indeed, you could 
put your finger on a definite lie. It was not true, for example, 
as was claimed in the Party history books, that the Party 
had invented aeroplanes. He remembered aeroplanes since 
his earliest childhood. But you could prove nothing. There 
was never any evidence. Just once in his whole life he had 
held in his hands unmistakable documentary proof of the 
falsification of an historical fact. And on that occasion 

'Smith!' screamed the shrewish voice from the telescreen. 
'6079 Smith W.! Yes, YOU! Bend lower, please! You can do 
better than that. You're not trying. Lower, please! THAT'S 
better, comrade. Now stand at ease, the whole squad, and 
watch me.' 

A sudden hot sweat had broken out all over Winston's 
body. His face remained completely inscrutable. Nev- 
er show dismay! Never show resentment! A single flicker 
of the eyes could give you away. He stood watching while 
the instructress raised her arms above her head and — one 
could not say gracefully, but with remarkable neatness and 
efficiency — bent over and tucked the first joint of her fin- 
gers under her toes. 

'THERE, comrades! THAT'S how I want to see you do- 
ing it. Watch me again. I'm thirty-nine and I've had four 
children. Now look.' She bent over again. 'You see MY 

46 1984 

knees aren't bent. You can all do it if you want to,' she add- 
ed as she straightened herself up. 'Anyone under forty- five 
is perfectly capable of touching his toes. We don't all have 
the privilege of fighting in the front line, but at least we can 
all keep fit. Remember our boys on the Malabar front! And 
the sailors in the Floating Fortresses! Just think what THEY 
have to put up with. Now try again. That's better, comrade, 
that's MUCH better,' she added encouragingly as Winston, 
with a violent lunge, succeeded in touching his toes with 
knees unbent, for the first time in several years. 

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Chapter 4 

With the deep, unconscious sigh which not even the 
nearness of the telescreen could prevent him from 
uttering when his day's work started, Winston pulled the 
speakwrite towards him, blew the dust from its mouthpiece, 
and put on his spectacles. Then he unrolled and clipped 
together four small cylinders of paper which had already 
flopped out of the pneumatic tube on the right-hand side 
of his desk. 

In the walls of the cubicle there were three orifices. To 
the right of the speakwrite, a small pneumatic tube for writ- 
ten messages, to the left, a larger one for newspapers; and in 
the side wall, within easy reach of Winston's arm, a large 
oblong slit protected by a wire grating. This last was for the 
disposal of waste paper. Similar slits existed in thousands or 
tens of thousands throughout the building, not only in ev- 
ery room but at short intervals in every corridor. For some 
reason they were nicknamed memory holes. When one 
knew that any document was due for destruction, or even 
when one saw a scrap of waste paper lying about, it was an 
automatic action to lift the flap of the nearest memory hole 
and drop it in, whereupon it would be whirled away on a 
current of warm air to the enormous furnaces which were 
hidden somewhere in the recesses of the building. 

Winston examined the four slips of paper which he had 


unrolled. Each contained a message of only one or two lines, 
in the abbreviated jargon — not actually Newspeak, but con- 
sisting largely of Newspeak words — which was used in the 
Ministry for internal purposes. They ran: 

times 17.3.84 bb speech malreported africa rectify 

times 19.12.83 forecasts 3 yp 4th quarter 83 misprints verify 

current issue 

times 14.2.84 miniplenty malquoted chocolate rectify 

times 3.12.83 reporting bb dayorder doubleplusungood refs 
unpersons rewrite fullwise upsub antefiling 

With a faint feeling of satisfaction Winston laid the 
fourth message aside. It was an intricate and responsible job 
and had better be dealt with last. The other three were rou- 
tine matters, though the second one would probably mean 
some tedious wading through lists of figures. 

Winston dialled 'back numbers' on the telescreen and 
called for the appropriate issues of 'The Times', which slid 
out of the pneumatic tube after only a few minutes' delay. 
The messages he had received referred to articles or news 
items which for one reason or another it was thought neces- 
sary to alter, or, as the official phrase had it, to rectify. For 
example, it appeared from 'The Times' of the seventeenth 
of March that Big Brother, in his speech of the previous 
day, had predicted that the South Indian front would re- 
main quiet but that a Eurasian offensive would shortly be 49 

launched in North Africa. As it happened, the Eurasian 
Higher Command had launched its offensive in South In- 
dia and left North Africa alone. It was therefore necessary 
to rewrite a paragraph of Big Brother's speech, in such a 
way as to make him predict the thing that had actually hap- 
pened. Or again, "The Times' of the nineteenth of December 
had published the official forecasts of the output of various 
classes of consumption goods in the fourth quarter of 1983, 
which was also the sixth quarter of the Ninth Three-Year 
Plan. Today's issue contained a statement of the actual out- 
put, from which it appeared that the forecasts were in every 
instance grossly wrong. Winston's job was to rectify the 
original figures by making them agree with the later ones. 
As for the third message, it referred to a very simple error 
which could be set right in a couple of minutes. As short a 
time ago as February, the Ministry of Plenty had issued a 
promise (a 'categorical pledge' were the official words) that 
there would be no reduction of the chocolate ration during 
1984. Actually, as Winston was aware, the chocolate ration 
was to be reduced from thirty grammes to twenty at the end 
of the present week. All that was needed was to substitute 
for the original promise a warning that it would probably 
be necessary to reduce the ration at some time in April. 

As soon as Winston had dealt with each of the messages, 
he clipped his speakwritten corrections to the appropriate 
copy of "The Times' and pushed them into the pneumatic 
tube. Then, with a movement which was as nearly as possi- 
ble unconscious, he crumpled up the original message and 
any notes that he himself had made, and dropped them into 


the memory hole to be devoured by the flames. 

What happened in the unseen labyrinth to which the 
pneumatic tubes led, he did not know in detail, but he did 
know in general terms. As soon as all the corrections which 
happened to be necessary in any particular number of 'The 
Times' had been assembled and collated, that number would 
be reprinted, the original copy destroyed, and the corrected 
copy placed on the files in its stead. This process of con- 
tinuous alteration was applied not only to newspapers, but 
to books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, 
sound-tracks, cartoons, photographs — to every kind of lit- 
erature or documentation which might conceivably hold 
any political or ideological significance. Day by day and 
almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. 
In this way every prediction made by the Party could be 
shown by documentary evidence to have been correct, nor 
was any item of news, or any expression of opinion, which 
conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to 
remain on record. All history was a palimpsest, scraped 
clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary. In 
no case would it have been possible, once the deed was done, 
to prove that any falsification had taken place. The largest 
section of the Records Department, far larger than the one 
on which Winston worked, consisted simply of persons 
whose duty it was to track down and collect all copies of 
books, newspapers, and other documents which had been 
superseded and were due for destruction. A number of 'The 
Times' which might, because of changes in political align- 
ment, or mistaken prophecies uttered by Big Brother, have 

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been rewritten a dozen times still stood on the files bearing 
its original date, and no other copy existed to contradict it. 
Books, also, were recalled and rewritten again and again, 
and were invariably reissued without any admission that 
any alteration had been made. Even the written instruc- 
tions which Winston received, and which he invariably got 
rid of as soon as he had dealt with them, never stated or 
implied that an act of forgery was to be committed: always 
the reference was to slips, errors, misprints, or misquota- 
tions which it was necessary to put right in the interests of 

But actually, he thought as he re-adjusted the Ministry 
of Plenty's figures, it was not even forgery. It was merely the 
substitution of one piece of nonsense for another. Most of 
the material that you were dealing with had no connexion 
with anything in the real world, not even the kind of con- 
nexion that is contained in a direct lie. Statistics were just 
as much a fantasy in their original version as in their recti- 
fied version. A great deal of the time you were expected to 
make them up out of your head. For example, the Minis- 
try of Plenty's forecast had estimated the output of boots 
for the quarter at 145 million pairs. The actual output was 
given as sixty-two millions. Winston, however, in rewriting 
the forecast, marked the figure down to fifty-seven millions, 
so as to allow for the usual claim that the quota had been 
overfulfilled. In any case, sixty-two millions was no near- 
er the truth than fifty-seven millions, or than 145 millions. 
Very likely no boots had been produced at all. Likelier still, 
nobody knew how many had been produced, much less 


cared. All one knew was that every quarter astronomical 
numbers of boots were produced on paper, while perhaps 
half the population of Oceania went barefoot. And so it was 
with every class of recorded fact, great or small. Everything 
faded away into a shadow-world in which, finally, even the 
date of the year had become uncertain. 

Winston glanced across the hall. In the corresponding 
cubicle on the other side a small, precise-looking, dark- 
chinned man named Tillotson was working steadily away, 
with a folded newspaper on his knee and his mouth very 
close to the mouthpiece of the speakwrite. He had the air of 
trying to keep what he was saying a secret between himself 
and the telescreen. He looked up, and his spectacles darted 
a hostile flash in Winston's direction. 

Winston hardly knew Tillotson, and had no idea what 
work he was employed on. People in the Records Depart- 
ment did not readily talk about their jobs. In the long, 
windowless hall, with its double row of cubicles and its end- 
less rustle of papers and hum of voices murmuring into 
speakwrites, there were quite a dozen people whom Win- 
ston did not even know by name, though he daily saw them 
hurrying to and fro in the corridors or gesticulating in the 
Two Minutes Hate. He knew that in the cubicle next to him 
the little woman with sandy hair toiled day in day out, sim- 
ply at tracking down and deleting from the Press the names 
of people who had been vaporized and were therefore con- 
sidered never to have existed. There was a certain fitness in 
this, since her own husband had been vaporized a couple 
of years earlier. And a few cubicles away a mild, ineffec- 

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tual, dreamy creature named Ampleforth, with very hairy 
ears and a surprising talent for juggling with rhymes and 
metres, was engaged in producing garbled versions — defin- 
itive texts, they were called — of poems which had become 
ideologically offensive, but which for one reason or another 
were to be retained in the anthologies. And this hall, with 
its fifty workers or thereabouts, was only one sub-section, a 
single cell, as it were, in the huge complexity of the Records 
Department. Beyond, above, below, were other swarms 
of workers engaged in an unimaginable multitude of jobs. 
There were the huge printing-shops with their sub-editors, 
their typography experts, and their elaborately equipped 
studios for the faking of photographs. There was the tele- 
programmes section with its engineers, its producers, and 
its teams of actors specially chosen for their skill in imitat- 
ing voices. There were the armies of reference clerks whose 
job was simply to draw up lists of books and periodicals 
which were due for recall. There were the vast repositories 
where the corrected documents were stored, and the hid- 
den furnaces where the original copies were destroyed. And 
somewhere or other, quite anonymous, there were the di- 
recting brains who co-ordinated the whole effort and laid 
down the lines of policy which made it necessary that this 
fragment of the past should be preserved, that one falsified, 
and the other rubbed out of existence. 

And the Records Department, after all, was itself only a 
single branch of the Ministry of Truth, whose primary job 
was not to reconstruct the past but to supply the citizens 
of Oceania with newspapers, films, textbooks, telescreen 


programmes, plays, novels — with every conceivable kind of 
information, instruction, or entertainment, from a statue to 
a slogan, from a lyric poem to a biological treatise, and from 
a child's spelling-book to a Newspeak dictionary. And the 
Ministry had not only to supply the multifarious needs of 
the party, but also to repeat the whole operation at a lower 
level for the benefit of the proletariat. There was a whole 
chain of separate departments dealing with proletarian lit- 
erature, music, drama, and entertainment generally. Here 
were produced rubbishy newspapers containing almost 
nothing except sport, crime and astrology, sensational 
five-cent novelettes, films oozing with sex, and sentimen- 
tal songs which were composed entirely by mechanical 
means on a special kind of kaleidoscope known as a ver- 
sificator. There was even a whole sub-section — Pornosec, it 
was called in Newspeak — engaged in producing the lowest 
kind of pornography, which was sent out in sealed packets 
and which no Party member, other than those who worked 
on it, was permitted to look at. 

Three messages had slid out of the pneumatic tube while 
Winston was working, but they were simple matters, and 
he had disposed of them before the Two Minutes Hate in- 
terrupted him. When the Hate was over he returned to 
his cubicle, took the Newspeak dictionary from the shelf, 
pushed the speakwrite to one side, cleaned his spectacles, 
and settled down to his main job of the morning. 

Winston's greatest pleasure in life was in his work. Most 
of it was a tedious routine, but included in it there were also 
jobs so difficult and intricate that you could lose yourself in 

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them as in the depths of a mathematical problem — delicate 
pieces of forgery in which you had nothing to guide you 
except your knowledge of the principles of Ingsoc and your 
estimate of what the Party wanted you to say Winston was 
good at this kind of thing. On occasion he had even been 
entrusted with the rectification of "The Times' leading arti- 
cles, which were written entirely in Newspeak. He unrolled 
the message that he had set aside earlier. It ran: 

times 3.12.83 reportingbb dayorder doubleplusungood refs 
unpersons rewrite fullwise upsub antefiling 

In Oldspeak (or standard English) this might be ren- 

The reporting of Big Brother's Order for the Day in 'The Times' 
of December 3rd 1983 is extremely unsatisfactory and makes 
references to non-existent persons. Rewrite it in full and 
submit your draft to higher authority before filing. 

Winston read through the offending article. Big Broth- 
er's Order for the Day, it seemed, had been chiefly devoted 
to praising the work of an organization known as FFCC, 
which supplied cigarettes and other comforts to the sailors 
in the Floating Fortresses. A certain Comrade Withers, a 
prominent member of the Inner Party, had been singled out 
for special mention and awarded a decoration, the Order of 
Conspicuous Merit, Second Class. 

Three months later FFCC had suddenly been dissolved 


with no reasons given. One could assume that Withers and 
his associates were now in disgrace, but there had been no 
report of the matter in the Press or on the telescreen. That 
was to be expected, since it was unusual for political offend- 
ers to be put on trial or even publicly denounced. The great 
purges involving thousands of people, with public trials of 
traitors and thought- criminals who made abject confession 
of their crimes and were afterwards executed, were special 
show-pieces not occurring oftener than once in a couple of 
years. More commonly, people who had incurred the dis- 
pleasure of the Party simply disappeared and were never 
heard of again. One never had the smallest clue as to what 
had happened to them. In some cases they might not even 
be dead. Perhaps thirty people personally known to Win- 
ston, not counting his parents, had disappeared at one time 
or another. 

Winston stroked his nose gently with a paper-clip. In the 
cubicle across the way Comrade Tillotson was still crouch- 
ing secretively over his speakwrite. He raised his head for 
a moment: again the hostile spectacle-flash. Winston won- 
dered whether Comrade Tillotson was engaged on the same 
job as himself. It was perfectly possible. So tricky a piece of 
work would never be entrusted to a single person: on the 
other hand, to turn it over to a committee would be to ad- 
mit openly that an act of fabrication was taking place. Very 
likely as many as a dozen people were now working away 
on rival versions of what Big Brother had actually said. And 
presently some master brain in the Inner Party would se- 
lect this version or that, would re-edit it and set in motion 

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the complex processes of cross-referencing that would be 
required, and then the chosen lie would pass into the per- 
manent records and become truth. 

Winston did not know why Withers had been disgraced. 
Perhaps it was for corruption or incompetence. Perhaps Big 
Brother was merely getting rid of a too-popular subordi- 
nate. Perhaps Withers or someone close to him had been 
suspected of heretical tendencies. Or perhaps — what was 
likeliest of all — the thing had simply happened because 
purges and vaporizations were a necessary part of the me- 
chanics of government. The only real clue lay in the words 
'refs unpersons', which indicated that Withers was already 
dead. You could not invariably assume this to be the case 
when people were arrested. Sometimes they were released 
and allowed to remain at liberty for as much as a year or 
two years before being executed. Very occasionally some 
person whom you had believed dead long since would make 
a ghostly reappearance at some public trial where he would 
implicate hundreds of others by his testimony before van- 
ishing, this time for ever. Withers, however, was already an 
UNPERSON. He did not exist: he had never existed. Win- 
ston decided that it would not be enough simply to reverse 
the tendency of Big Brother's speech. It was better to make 
it deal with something totally unconnected with its origi- 
nal subject. 

He might turn the speech into the usual denunciation of 
traitors and thought-criminals, but that was a little too ob- 
vious, while to invent a victory at the front, or some triumph 
of over-production in the Ninth Three-Year Plan, might 


complicate the records too much. What was needed was a 
piece of pure fantasy. Suddenly there sprang into his mind, 
ready made as it were, the image of a certain Comrade Ogil- 
vy, who had recently died in battle, in heroic circumstances. 
There were occasions when Big Brother devoted his Order 
for the Day to commemorating some humble, rank-and-file 
Party member whose life and death he held up as an exam- 
ple worthy to be followed. Today he should commemorate 
Comrade Ogilvy. It was true that there was no such person 
as Comrade Ogilvy, but a few lines of print and a couple of 
faked photographs would soon bring him into existence. 

Winston thought for a moment, then pulled the speak- 
write towards him and began dictating in Big Brother's 
familiar style: a style at once military and pedantic, and, 
because of a trick of asking questions and then promptly 
answering them ('What lessons do we learn from this fact, 
comrades? The lesson — which is also one of the fundamen- 
tal principles of Ingsoc — that,' etc., etc.), easy to imitate. 

At the age of three Comrade Ogilvy had refused all toys 
except a drum, a sub-machine gun, and a model helicopter. 
At six — a year early, by a special relaxation of the rules — he 
had joined the Spies, at nine he had been a troop leader. At 
eleven he had denounced his uncle to the Thought Police 
after overhearing a conversation which appeared to him to 
have criminal tendencies. At seventeen he had been a dis- 
trict organizer of the Junior Anti-Sex League. At nineteen 
he had designed a hand-grenade which had been adopted 
by the Ministry of Peace and which, at its first trial, had 
killed thirty-one Eurasian prisoners in one burst. At twen- 

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ty-three he had perished in action. Pursued by enemy jet 
planes while flying over the Indian Ocean with important 
despatches, he had weighted his body with his machine gun 
and leapt out of the helicopter into deep water, despatches 
and all — an end, said Big Brother, which it was impossible 
to contemplate without feelings of envy. Big Brother added a 
few remarks on the purity and single-mindedness of Com- 
rade Ogilvy's life. He was a total abstainer and a nonsmoker, 
had no recreations except a daily hour in the gymnasium, 
and had taken a vow of celibacy, believing marriage and the 
care of a family to be incompatible with a twenty- four-hour- 
a-day devotion to duty. He had no subjects of conversation 
except the principles of Ingsoc, and no aim in life except 
the defeat of the Eurasian enemy and the hunting- down of 
spies, saboteurs, thoughtcriminals, and traitors generally. 

Winston debated with himself whether to award Com- 
rade Ogilvy the Order of Conspicuous Merit: in the end he 
decided against it because of the unnecessary cross-refer- 
encing that it would entail. 

Once again he glanced at his rival in the opposite cubicle. 
Something seemed to tell him with certainty that Tillotson 
was busy on the same job as himself. There was no way of 
knowing whose job would finally be adopted, but he felt a 
profound conviction that it would be his own. Comrade 
Ogilvy, unimagined an hour ago, was now a fact. It struck 
him as curious that you could create dead men but not liv- 
ing ones. Comrade Ogilvy, who had never existed in the 
present, now existed in the past, and when once the act of 
forgery was forgotten, he would exist just as authentical- 


ly, and upon the same evidence, as Charlemagne or Julius 

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Chapter 5 

In the low-ceilinged canteen, deep underground, the 
lunch queue jerked slowly forward. The room was al- 
ready very full and deafeningly noisy. From the grille at the 
counter the steam of stew came pouring forth, with a sour 
metallic smell which did not quite overcome the fumes of 
Victory Gin. On the far side of the room there was a small 
bar, a mere hole in the wall, where gin could be bought at 
ten cents the large nip. 

'Just the man I was looking for,' said a voice at Winston's 

He turned round. It was his friend Syme, who worked in 
the Research Department. Perhaps 'friend' was not exact- 
ly the right word. You did not have friends nowadays, you 
had comrades: but there were some comrades whose society 
was pleasanter than that of others. Syme was a philologist, a 
specialist in Newspeak. Indeed, he was one of the enormous 
team of experts now engaged in compiling the Eleventh 
Edition of the Newspeak Dictionary. He was a tiny creature, 
smaller than Winston, with dark hair and large, protuber- 
ant eyes, at once mournful and derisive, which seemed to 
search your face closely while he was speaking to you. 

'I wanted to ask you whether you'd got any razor blades,' 
he said. 

'Not one!' said Winston with a sort of guilty haste. 'I've 


tried all over the place. They don't exist any longer.' 

Everyone kept asking you for razor blades. Actually he 
had two unused ones which he was hoarding up. There 
had been a famine of them for months past. At any given 
moment there was some necessary article which the Par- 
ty shops were unable to supply. Sometimes it was buttons, 
sometimes it was darning wool, sometimes it was shoelaces; 
at present it was razor blades. You could only get hold of 
them, if at all, by scrounging more or less furtively on the 
'free' market. 

'I've been using the same blade for six weeks,' he added 

The queue gave another jerk forward. As they halted he 
turned and faced Syme again. Each of them took a greasy 
metal tray from a pile at the end of the counter. 

'Did you go and see the prisoners hanged yesterday?' said 

'I was working,' said Winston indifferently. 'I shall see it 
on the flicks, I suppose.' 

A very inadequate substitute,' said Syme. 

His mocking eyes roved over Winston's face. 'I know 
you,' the eyes seemed to say, 'I see through you. I know very 
well why you didn't go to see those prisoners hanged.' In 
an intellectual way, Syme was venomously orthodox. He 
would talk with a disagreeable gloating satisfaction of he- 
licopter raids on enemy villages, and trials and confessions 
of thought-criminals, the executions in the cellars of the 
Ministry of Love. Talking to him was largely a matter of 
getting him away from such subjects and entangling him, 63 

if possible, in the technicalities of Newspeak, on which he 
was authoritative and interesting. Winston turned his head 
a little aside to avoid the scrutiny of the large dark eyes. 

'It was a good hanging,' said Syme reminiscently 'I think 
it spoils it when they tie their feet together. I like to see them 
kicking. And above all, at the end, the tongue sticking right 
out, and blue — a quite bright blue. That's the detail that ap- 
peals to me.' 

'Nex', please!' yelled the white-aproned prole with the la- 

Winston and Syme pushed their trays beneath the grille. 
On to each was dumped swiftly the regulation lunch — a 
metal pannikin of pinkish-grey stew, a hunk of bread, a 
cube of cheese, a mug of milkless Victory Coffee, and one 
saccharine tablet. 

"There's a table over there, under that telescreen,' said 
Syme. 'Let's pick up a gin on the way' 

The gin was served out to them in handleless china mugs. 
They threaded their way across the crowded room and un- 
packed their trays on to the metal-topped table, on one 
corner of which someone had left a pool of stew, a filthy 
liquid mess that had the appearance of vomit. Winston 
took up his mug of gin, paused for an instant to collect his 
nerve, and gulped the oily-tasting stuff down. When he 
had winked the tears out of his eyes he suddenly discov- 
ered that he was hungry. He began swallowing spoonfuls of 
the stew, which, in among its general sloppiness, had cubes 
of spongy pinkish stuff which was probably a preparation 
of meat. Neither of them spoke again till they had emptied 

64 1984 

their pannikins. From the table at Winston's left, a little 
behind his back, someone was talking rapidly and contin- 
uously, a harsh gabble almost like the quacking of a duck, 
which pierced the general uproar of the room. 

'How is the Dictionary getting on?' said Winston, raising 
his voice to overcome the noise. 

'Slowly' said Syme. 'I'm on the adjectives. It's fascinat- 

He had brightened up immediately at the mention of 
Newspeak. He pushed his pannikin aside, took up his hunk 
of bread in one delicate hand and his cheese in the other, 
and leaned across the table so as to be able to speak without 

"The Eleventh Edition is the definitive edition,' he said. 
'We're getting the language into its final shape— the shape 
it's going to have when nobody speaks anything else. When 
we've finished with it, people like you will have to learn it 
all over again. You think, I dare say, that our chief job is 
inventing new words. But not a bit of it! We're destroying 
words — scores of them, hundreds of them, every day. We're 
cutting the language down to the bone. The Eleventh Edi- 
tion won't contain a single word that will become obsolete 
before the year 2050.' 

He bit hungrily into his bread and swallowed a couple 
of mouthfuls, then continued speaking, with a sort of ped- 
ant's passion. His thin dark face had become animated, his 
eyes had lost their mocking expression and grown almost 

'It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. Of course 65 

the great wastage is in the verbs and adjectives, but there 
are hundreds of nouns that can be got rid of as well. It isn't 
only the synonyms; there are also the antonyms. After all, 
what justification is there for a word which is simply the 
opposite of some other word? A word contains its opposite 
in itself. Take 'good', for instance. If you have a word like 
'good', what need is there for a word like 'bad'? 'Ungood' 
will do just as well — better, because it's an exact opposite, 
which the other is not. Or again, if you want a stronger ver- 
sion of 'good', what sense is there in having a whole string 
of vague useless words like 'excellent' and 'splendid' and all 
the rest of them? 'Plusgood' covers the meaning, or 'double- 
plusgood' if you want something stronger still. Of course 
we use those forms already, but in the final version of New- 
speak there'll be nothing else. In the end the whole notion 
of goodness and badness will be covered by only six words — 
in reality, only one word. Don't you see the beauty of that, 
Winston? It was B.B.'s idea originally, of course,' he added 
as an afterthought. 

A sort of vapid eagerness flitted across Winston's face at 
the mention of Big Brother. Nevertheless Syme immediately 
detected a certain lack of enthusiasm. 

'You haven't a real appreciation of Newspeak, Winston,' 
he said almost sadly. 'Even when you write it you're still 
thinking in Oldspeak. I've read some of those pieces that 
you write in 'The Times' occasionally. They're good enough, 
but they're translations. In your heart you'd prefer to stick 
to Oldspeak, with all its vagueness and its useless shades of 
meaning. You don't grasp the beauty of the destruction of 


words. Do you know that Newspeak is the only language in 
the world whose vocabulary gets smaller every year?' 

Winston did know that, of course. He smiled, sympa- 
thetically he hoped, not trusting himself to speak. Syme bit 
off another fragment of the dark- coloured bread, chewed it 
briefly, and went on: 

'Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to 
narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make 
thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no 
words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever 
be needed, will be expressed by exactly one word, with its 
meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings 
rubbed out and forgotten. Already, in the Eleventh Edition, 
we're not far from that point. But the process will still be 
continuing long after you and I are dead. Every year fewer 
and fewer words, and the range of consciousness always a 
little smaller. Even now, of course, there's no reason or ex- 
cuse for committing thoughtcrime. It's merely a question 
of self-discipline, reality- control. But in the end there won't 
be any need even for that. The Revolution will be com- 
plete when the language is perfect. Newspeak is Ingsoc and 
Ingsoc is Newspeak,' he added with a sort of mystical satis- 
faction. 'Has it ever occurred to you, Winston, that by the 
year 2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will 
be alive who could understand such a conversation as we 
are having now?' 

'Except ' began Winston doubtfully, and he stopped. 

It had been on the tip of his tongue to say 'Except the 
proles,' but he checked himself, not feeling fully certain that 

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this remark was not in some way unorthodox. Syme, how- 
ever, had divined what he was about to say 

"The proles are not human beings,' he said carelessly. 'By 
2050 — earlier, probably — all real knowledge of Oldspeak 
will have disappeared. The whole literature of the past will 
have been destroyed. Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, By- 
ron — they'll exist only in Newspeak versions, not merely 
changed into something different, but actually changed 
into something contradictory of what they used to be. Even 
the literature of the Party will change. Even the slogans will 
change. How could you have a slogan like 'freedom is slav- 
ery' when the concept of freedom has been abolished? The 
whole climate of thought will be different. In fact there will 
be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means 
not thinking — not needing to think. Orthodoxy is uncon- 

One of these days, thought Winston with sudden deep 
conviction, Syme will be vaporized. He is too intelligent. He 
sees too clearly and speaks too plainly. The Party does not 
like such people. One day he will disappear. It is written in 
his face. 

Winston had finished his bread and cheese. He turned 
a little sideways in his chair to drink his mug of coffee. At 
the table on his left the man with the strident voice was 
still talking remorselessly away. A young woman who was 
perhaps his secretary, and who was sitting with her back 
to Winston, was listening to him and seemed to be eagerly 
agreeing with everything that he said. From time to time 
Winston caught some such remark as 'I think you're so right, 


I do so agree with you', uttered in a youthful and rather silly 
feminine voice. But the other voice never stopped for an in- 
stant, even when the girl was speaking. Winston knew the 
man by sight, though he knew no more about him than that 
he held some important post in the Fiction Department. He 
was a man of about thirty, with a muscular throat and a 
large, mobile mouth. His head was thrown back a little, and 
because of the angle at which he was sitting, his spectacles 
caught the light and presented to Winston two blank discs 
instead of eyes. What was slightly horrible, was that from 
the stream of sound that poured out of his mouth it was 
almost impossible to distinguish a single word. Just once 
Winston caught a phrase — complete and final elimination 
of Goldsteinism' — jerked out very rapidly and, as it seemed, 
all in one piece, like a line of type cast solid. For the rest it 
was just a noise, a quack- quack- quacking. And yet, though 
you could not actually hear what the man was saying, you 
could not be in any doubt about its general nature. He might 
be denouncing Goldstein and demanding sterner measures 
against thought- criminals and saboteurs, he might be ful- 
minating against the atrocities of the Eurasian army, he 
might be praising Big Brother or the heroes on the Malabar 
front — it made no difference. Whatever it was, you could 
be certain that every word of it was pure orthodoxy, pure 
Ingsoc. As he watched the eyeless face with the jaw moving 
rapidly up and down, Winston had a curious feeling that 
this was not a real human being but some kind of dummy. It 
was not the man's brain that was speaking, it was his larynx. 
The stuff that was coming out of him consisted of words, but 69 

it was not speech in the true sense: it was a noise uttered in 
unconsciousness, like the quacking of a duck. 

Syme had fallen silent for a moment, and with the han- 
dle of his spoon was tracing patterns in the puddle of stew. 
The voice from the other table quacked rapidly on, easily 
audible in spite of the surrounding din. 

"There is a word in Newspeak,' said Syme, 'I don't know 
whether you know it: DUCKSPEAK, to quack like a duck. It 
is one of those interesting words that have two contradic- 
tory meanings. Applied to an opponent, it is abuse, applied 
to someone you agree with, it is praise.' 

Unquestionably Syme will be vaporized, Winston 
thought again. He thought it with a kind of sadness, al- 
though well knowing that Syme despised him and slightly 
disliked him, and was fully capable of denouncing him as 
a thought- criminal if he saw any reason for doing so. There 
was something subtly wrong with Syme. There was some- 
thing that he lacked: discretion, aloofness, a sort of saving 
stupidity. You could not say that he was unorthodox. He be- 
lieved in the principles of Ingsoc, he venerated Big Brother, 
he rejoiced over victories, he hated heretics, not merely with 
sincerity but with a sort of restless zeal, an up-to-dateness 
of information, which the ordinary Party member did not 
approach. Yet a faint air of disreputability always clung to 
him. He said things that would have been better unsaid, he 
had read too many books, he frequented the Chestnut Tree 
Cafe, haunt of painters and musicians. There was no law, 
not even an unwritten law, against frequenting the Chest- 
nut Tree Cafe, yet the place was somehow ill-omened. The 


old, discredited leaders of the Party had been used to gather 
there before they were finally purged. Goldstein himself, it 
was said, had sometimes been seen there, years and decades 
ago. Syme's fate was not difficult to foresee. And yet it was 
a fact that if Syme grasped, even for three seconds, the na- 
ture of his, Winston's, secret opinions, he would betray him 
instantly to the Thought Police. So would anybody else, for 
that matter: but Syme more than most. Zeal was not enough. 
Orthodoxy was unconsciousness. 

Syme looked up. 'Here comes Parsons,' he said. 

Something in the tone of his voice seemed to add, 'that 
bloody fool'. Parsons, Winston's fellow-tenant at Victory 
Mansions, was in fact threading his way across the room — 
a tubby, middle-sized man with fair hair and a froglike face. 
At thirty- five he was already putting on rolls of fat at neck 
and waistline, but his movements were brisk and boyish. 
His whole appearance was that of a little boy grown large, so 
much so that although he was wearing the regulation over- 
alls, it was almost impossible not to think of him as being 
dressed in the blue shorts, grey shirt, and red neckerchief 
of the Spies. In visualizing him one saw always a picture 
of dimpled knees and sleeves rolled back from pudgy fore- 
arms. Parsons did, indeed, invariably revert to shorts when 
a community hike or any other physical activity gave him 
an excuse for doing so. He greeted them both with a cheery 
'Hullo, hullo!' and sat down at the table, giving off an in- 
tense smell of sweat. Beads of moisture stood out all over 
his pink face. His powers of sweating were extraordinary. 
At the Community Centre you could always tell when he 

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had been playing table-tennis by the dampness of the bat 
handle. Syme had produced a strip of paper on which there 
was a long column of words, and was studying it with an 
ink-pencil between his fingers. 

'Look at him working away in the lunch hour,' said Par- 
sons, nudging Winston. 'Keenness, eh? What's that you've 
got there, old boy? Something a bit too brainy for me, I ex- 
pect. Smith, old boy, I'll tell you why I'm chasing you. It's 
that sub you forgot to give me.' 

'Which sub is that?' said Winston, automatically feel- 
ing for money. About a quarter of one's salary had to be 
earmarked for voluntary subscriptions, which were so nu- 
merous that it was difficult to keep track of them. 

'For Hate Week. You know — the house-by-house fund. 
I'm treasurer for our block. We're making an all-out effort — 
going to put on a tremendous show. I tell you, it won't be my 
fault if old Victory Mansions doesn't have the biggest outfit 
of flags in the whole street. Two dollars you promised me.' 

Winston found and handed over two creased and filthy 
notes, which Parsons entered in a small notebook, in the 
neat handwriting of the illiterate. 

'By the way, old boy' he said. 'I hear that little beggar of 
mine let fly at you with his catapult yesterday. I gave him 
a good dressing-down for it. In fact I told him I'd take the 
catapult away if he does it again.' 

'I think he was a little upset at not going to the execution,' 
said Winston. 

'Ah, well — what I mean to say, shows the right spirit, 
doesn't it? Mischievous little beggars they are, both of them, 


but talk about keenness! All they think about is the Spies, 
and the war, of course. D'you know what that little girl of 
mine did last Saturday, when her troop was on a hike out 
Berkhamsted way? She got two other girls to go with her, 
slipped off from the hike, and spent the whole afternoon 
following a strange man. They kept on his tail for two hours, 
right through the woods, and then, when they got into Am- 
ersham, handed him over to the patrols.' 

'What did they do that for?' said Winston, somewhat tak- 
en aback. Parsons went on triumphantly: 

'My kid made sure he was some kind of enemy agent — 
might have been dropped by parachute, for instance. But 
here's the point, old boy. What do you think put her on to 
him in the first place? She spotted he was wearing a funny 
kind of shoes — said she'd never seen anyone wearing shoes 
like that before. So the chances were he was a foreigner. 
Pretty smart for a nipper of seven, eh?' 

'What happened to the man?' said Winston. 

Ah, that I couldn't say, of course. But I wouldn't be alto- 
gether surprised if ' Parsons made the motion of aiming 

a rifle, and clicked his tongue for the explosion. 

'Good,' said Syme abstractedly, without looking up from 
his strip of paper. 

'Of course we can't afford to take chances,' agreed Win- 
ston dutifully. 

'What I mean to say, there is a war on,' said Parsons. 

As though in confirmation of this, a trumpet call float- 
ed from the telescreen just above their heads. However, it 
was not the proclamation of a military victory this time, but 

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merely an announcement from the Ministry of Plenty. 

'Comrades!' cried an eager youthful voice. 'Attention, 
comrades! We have glorious news for you. We have won the 
battle for production! Returns now completed of the output 
of all classes of consumption goods show that the standard 
of living has risen by no less than 20 per cent over the past 
year. All over Oceania this morning there were irrepressible 
spontaneous demonstrations when workers marched out of 
factories and offices and paraded through the streets with 
banners voicing their gratitude to Big Brother for the new, 
happy life which his wise leadership has bestowed upon us. 
Here are some of the completed figures. Foodstuffs ' 

The phrase 'our new, happy life' recurred several times. It 
had been a favourite of late with the Ministry of Plenty. Par- 
sons, his attention caught by the trumpet call, sat listening 
with a sort of gaping solemnity, a sort of edified boredom. 
He could not follow the figures, but he was aware that they 
were in some way a cause for satisfaction. He had lugged out 
a huge and filthy pipe which was already half full of charred 
tobacco. With the tobacco ration at 100 grammes a week it 
was seldom possible to fill a pipe to the top. Winston was 
smoking a Victory Cigarette which he held carefully hori- 
zontal. The new ration did not start till tomorrow and he 
had only four cigarettes left. For the moment he had shut his 
ears to the remoter noises and was listening to the stuff that 
streamed out of the telescreen. It appeared that there had 
even been demonstrations to thank Big Brother for raising 
the chocolate ration to twenty grammes a week. And only 
yesterday, he reflected, it had been announced that the ra- 


tion was to be REDUCED to twenty grammes a week. Was it 
possible that they could swallow that, after only twenty-four 
hours? Yes, they swallowed it. Parsons swallowed it easily, 
with the stupidity of an animal. The eyeless creature at the 
other table swallowed it fanatically, passionately, with a fu- 
rious desire to track down, denounce, and vaporize anyone 
who should suggest that last week the ration had been thirty 
grammes. Syme, too — in some more complex way, involv- 
ing doublethink, Syme swallowed it. Was he, then, ALONE 
in the possession of a memory? 

The fabulous statistics continued to pour out of the tele- 
screen. As compared with last year there was more food, 
more clothes, more houses, more furniture, more cook- 
ing-pots, more fuel, more ships, more helicopters, more 
books, more babies — more of everything except disease, 
crime, and insanity. Year by year and minute by minute, 
everybody and everything was whizzing rapidly upwards. 
As Syme had done earlier Winston had taken up his spoon 
and was dabbling in the pale-coloured gravy that dribbled 
across the table, drawing a long streak of it out into a pat- 
tern. He meditated resentfully on the physical texture of 
life. Had it always been like this? Had food always tasted 
like this? He looked round the canteen. A low-ceilinged, 
crowded room, its walls grimy from the contact of innu- 
merable bodies; battered metal tables and chairs, placed 
so close together that you sat with elbows touching; bent 
spoons, dented trays, coarse white mugs; all surfaces greasy, 
grime in every crack; and a sourish, composite smell of bad 
gin and bad coffee and metallic stew and dirty clothes. Al- 

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ways in your stomach and in your skin there was a sort of 
protest, a feeling that you had been cheated of something 
that you had a right to. It was true that he had no memories 
of anything greatly different. In any time that he could ac- 
curately remember, there had never been quite enough to 
eat, one had never had socks or underclothes that were not 
full of holes, furniture had always been battered and rickety, 
rooms underheated, tube trains crowded, houses falling to 
pieces, bread dark- coloured, tea a rarity, coffee filthy-tast- 
ing, cigarettes insufficient — nothing cheap and plentiful 
except synthetic gin. And though, of course, it grew worse 
as one's body aged, was it not a sign that this was NOT the 
natural order of things, if one's heart sickened at the dis- 
comfort and dirt and scarcity, the interminable winters, the 
stickiness of one's socks, the lifts that never worked, the 
cold water, the gritty soap, the cigarettes that came to piec- 
es, the food with its strange evil tastes? Why should one feel 
it to be intolerable unless one had some kind of ancestral 
memory that things had once been different? 

He looked round the canteen again. Nearly everyone was 
ugly, and would still have been ugly even if dressed other- 
wise than in the uniform blue overalls. On the far side of the 
room, sitting at a table alone, a small, curiously beetle-like 
man was drinking a cup of coffee, his little eyes darting sus- 
picious glances from side to side. How easy it was, thought 
Winston, if you did not look about you, to believe that the 
physical type set up by the Party as an ideal — tall muscu- 
lar youths and deep -bosomed maidens, blond-haired, vital, 
sunburnt, carefree— existed and even predominated. Ac- 

76 1984 

tually, so far as he could judge, the majority of people in 
Airstrip One were small, dark, and ill-favoured. It was curi- 
ous how that beetle-like type proliferated in the Ministries: 
little dumpy men, growing stout very early in life, with 
short legs, swift scuttling movements, and fat inscrutable 
faces with very small eyes. It was the type that seemed to 
flourish best under the dominion of the Party. 

The announcement from the Ministry of Plenty ended 
on another trumpet call and gave way to tinny music. Par- 
sons, stirred to vague enthusiasm by the bombardment of 
figures, took his pipe out of his mouth. 

"The Ministry of Plenty's certainly done a good job this 
year,' he said with a knowing shake of his head. 'By the way, 
Smith old boy, I suppose you haven't got any razor blades 
you can let me have?' 

'Not one,' said Winston. 'I've been using the same blade 
for six weeks myself 

'Ah, well — just thought I'd ask you, old boy' 

'Sorry' said Winston. 

The quacking voice from the next table, temporarily si- 
lenced during the Ministry's announcement, had started up 
again, as loud as ever. For some reason Winston suddenly 
found himself thinking of Mrs Parsons, with her wispy hair 
and the dust in the creases of her face. Within two years 
those children would be denouncing her to the Thought 
Police. Mrs Parsons would be vaporized. Syme would be 
vaporized. Winston would be vaporized. O'Brien would 
be vaporized. Parsons, on the other hand, would never be 
vaporized. The eyeless creature with the quacking voice 

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would never be vaporized. The little beetle-like men who 
scuttle so nimbly through the labyrinthine corridors of 
Ministries they, too, would never be vaporized. And the girl 
with dark hair, the girl from the Fiction Department — she 
would never be vaporized either. It seemed to him that he 
knew instinctively who would survive and who would per- 
ish: though just what it was that made for survival, it was 
not easy to say. 

At this moment he was dragged out of his reverie with 
a violent jerk. The girl at the next table had turned partly 
round and was looking at him. It was the girl with dark hair. 
She was looking at him in a sidelong way, but with curious 
intensity. The instant she caught his eye she looked away 

The sweat started out on Winston's backbone. A horri- 
ble pang of terror went through him. It was gone almost at 
once, but it left a sort of nagging uneasiness behind. Why 
was she watching him? Why did she keep following him 
about? Unfortunately he could not remember whether she 
had already been at the table when he arrived, or had come 
there afterwards. But yesterday, at any rate, during the Two 
Minutes Hate, she had sat immediately behind him when 
there was no apparent need to do so. Quite likely her real 
object had been to listen to him and make sure whether he 
was shouting loudly enough. 

His earlier thought returned to him: probably she was 
not actually a member of the Thought Police, but then it 
was precisely the amateur spy who was the greatest danger 
of all. He did not know how long she had been looking at 


him, but perhaps for as much as five minutes, and it was 
possible that his features had not been perfectly under con- 
trol. It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander 
when you were in any public place or within range of a tele- 
screen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous 
tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to 
yourself— anything that carried with it the suggestion of 
abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to 
wear an improper expression on your face (to look incredu- 
lous when a victory was announced, for example) was itself 
a punishable offence. There was even a word for it in New- 
speak: FACECRIME, it was called. 

The girl had turned her back on him again. Perhaps after 
all she was not really following him about, perhaps it was 
coincidence that she had sat so close to him two days run- 
ning. His cigarette had gone out, and he laid it carefully on 
the edge of the table. He would finish smoking it after work, 
if he could keep the tobacco in it. Quite likely the person 
at the next table was a spy of the Thought Police, and quite 
likely he would be in the cellars of the Ministry of Love 
within three days, but a cigarette end must not be wasted. 
Syme had folded up his strip of paper and stowed it away in 
his pocket. Parsons had begun talking again. 

'Did I ever tell you, old boy' he said, chuckling round the 
stem of his pipe, 'about the time when those two nippers 
of mine set fire to the old market-woman's skirt because 
they saw her wrapping up sausages in a poster of B.B.? 
Sneaked up behind her and set fire to it with a box of match- 
es. Burned her quite badly, I believe. Little beggars, eh? But 

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keen as mustard! That's a first-rate training they give them 
in the Spies nowadays — better than in my day, even. What 
d'you think's the latest thing they've served them out with? 
Ear trumpets for listening through keyholes! My little girl 
brought one home the other night — tried it out on our sit- 
ting-room door, and reckoned she could hear twice as much 
as with her ear to the hole. Of course it's only a toy, mind 
you. Still, gives 'em the right idea, eh?' 

At this moment the telescreen let out a piercing whistle. 
It was the signal to return to work. All three men sprang to 
their feet to join in the struggle round the lifts, and the re- 
maining tobacco fell out of Winston's cigarette. 


Chapter 6 


inston was writing in his diary: 

It was three years ago. It was on a dark evening, in a 
narrow side-street near one of the big railway stations. She 
was standing near a doorway in the wall, under a street lamp 
that hardly gave any light. She had a young face, painted 
very thick. It was really the paint that appealed to me, the 
whiteness of it, like a mask, and the bright red lips. Party 
women never paint their faces. There was nobody else in the 
street, and no telescreens. She said two dollars. I 

For the moment it was too difficult to go on. He shut his 
eyes and pressed his fingers against them, trying to squeeze 
out the vision that kept recurring. He had an almost over- 
whelming temptation to shout a string of filthy words at the 
top of his voice. Or to bang his head against the wall, to kick 
over the table, and hurl the inkpot through the window — to 
do any violent or noisy or painful thing that might black 
out the memory that was tormenting him. 

Your worst enemy, he reflected, was your own nervous 
system. At any moment the tension inside you was liable to 
translate itself into some visible symptom. He thought of 
a man whom he had passed in the street a few weeks back; 
a quite ordinary-looking man, a Party member, aged thir- 81 

ty-five to forty, tallish and thin, carrying a brief-case. They 
were a few metres apart when the left side of the man's face 
was suddenly contorted by a sort of spasm. It happened 
again just as they were passing one another: it was only a 
twitch, a quiver, rapid as the clicking of a camera shutter, 
but obviously habitual. He remembered thinking at the 
time: That poor devil is done for. And what was frighten- 
ing was that the action was quite possibly unconscious. The 
most deadly danger of all was talking in your sleep. There 
was no way of guarding against that, so far as he could see. 
He drew his breath and went on writing: 

/ went with her through the doorway and across a backyard 
into a basement kitchen. There was a bed against the wall, 
and a lamp on the table, turned down very low. She 

His teeth were set on edge. He would have liked to spit. 
Simultaneously with the woman in the basement kitchen 
he thought of Katharine, his wife. Winston was married — 
had been married, at any rate: probably he still was married, 
so far as he knew his wife was not dead. He seemed to 
breathe again the warm stuffy odour of the basement kitch- 
en, an odour compounded of bugs and dirty clothes and 
villainous cheap scent, but nevertheless alluring, because 
no woman of the Party ever used scent, or could be imag- 
ined as doing so. Only the proles used scent. In his mind the 
smell of it was inextricably mixed up with fornication. 

When he had gone with that woman it had been his first 
lapse in two years or thereabouts. Consorting with prosti- 


tutes was forbidden, of course, but it was one of those rules 
that you could occasionally nerve yourself to break. It was 
dangerous, but it was not a life-and-death matter. To be 
caught with a prostitute might mean five years in a forced- 
labour camp: not more, if you had committed no other 
offence. And it was easy enough, provided that you could 
avoid being caught in the act. The poorer quarters swarmed 
with women who were ready to sell themselves. Some could 
even be purchased for a bottle of gin, which the proles were 
not supposed to drink. Tacitly the Party was even inclined 
to encourage prostitution, as an outlet for instincts which 
could not be altogether suppressed. Mere debauchery did 
not matter very much, so long as it was furtive and joyless 
and only involved the women of a submerged and despised 
class. The unforgivable crime was promiscuity between 
Party members. But — though this was one of the crimes 
that the accused in the great purges invariably confessed 
to — it was difficult to imagine any such thing actually hap- 

The aim of the Party was not merely to prevent men and 
women from forming loyalties which it might not be able 
to control. Its real, undeclared purpose was to remove all 
pleasure from the sexual act. Not love so much as eroti- 
cism was the enemy, inside marriage as well as outside it. 
All marriages between Party members had to be approved 
by a committee appointed for the purpose, and — though 
the principle was never clearly stated — permission was al- 
ways refused if the couple concerned gave the impression 
of being physically attracted to one another. The only rec- 83 

ognized purpose of marriage was to beget children for the 
service of the Party. Sexual intercourse was to be looked on 
as a slightly disgusting minor operation, like having an en- 
ema. This again was never put into plain words, but in an 
indirect way it was rubbed into every Party member from 
childhood onwards. There were even organizations such 
as the Junior Anti-Sex League, which advocated complete 
celibacy for both sexes. All children were to be begotten 
by artificial insemination (ARTSEM, it was called in New- 
speak) and brought up in public institutions. This, Winston 
was aware, was not meant altogether seriously, but some- 
how it fitted in with the general ideology of the Party. The 
Party was trying to kill the sex instinct, or, if it could not be 
killed, then to distort it and dirty it. He did not know why 
this was so, but it seemed natural that it should be so. And 
as far as the women were concerned, the Party's efforts were 
largely successful. 

He thought again of Katharine. It must be nine, ten — 
nearly eleven years since they had parted. It was curious 
how seldom he thought of her. For days at a time he was ca- 
pable of forgetting that he had ever been married. They had 
only been together for about fifteen months. The Party did 
not permit divorce, but it rather encouraged separation in 
cases where there were no children. 

Katharine was a tall, fair-haired girl, very straight, with 
splendid movements. She had a bold, aquiline face, a face 
that one might have called noble until one discovered that 
there was as nearly as possible nothing behind it. Very early 
in her married life he had decided — though perhaps it was 


only that he knew her more intimately than he knew most 
people — that she had without exception the most stupid, 
vulgar, empty mind that he had ever encountered. She had 
not a thought in her head that was not a slogan, and there 
was no imbecility, absolutely none that she was not capable 
of swallowing if the Party handed it out to her. 'The hu- 
man sound-track' he nicknamed her in his own mind. Yet 
he could have endured living with her if it had not been for 
just one thing — sex. 

As soon as he touched her she seemed to wince and stiff- 
en. To embrace her was like embracing a jointed wooden 
image. And what was strange was that even when she was 
clasping him against her he had the feeling that she was si- 
multaneously pushing him away with all her strength. The 
rigidity of her muscles managed to convey that impres- 
sion. She would lie there with shut eyes, neither resisting 
nor co-operating but SUBMITTING. It was extraordinari- 
ly embarrassing, and, after a while, horrible. But even then 
he could have borne living with her if it had been agreed 
that they should remain celibate. But curiously enough it 
was Katharine who refused this. They must, she said, pro- 
duce a child if they could. So the performance continued to 
happen, once a week quite regulariy, whenever it was not 
impossible. She even used to remind him of it in the morn- 
ing, as something which had to be done that evening and 
which must not be forgotten. She had two names for it. One 
was 'making a baby', and the other was 'our duty to the Par- 
ty' (yes, she had actually used that phrase). Quite soon he 
grew to have a feeling of positive dread when the appointed 85 

day came round. But luckily no child appeared, and in the 
end she agreed to give up trying, and soon afterwards they 

Winston sighed inaudibly He picked up his pen again 
and wrote: 

She threw herself down on the bed, and at once, without any 
kind of preliminary in the most coarse, horrible way you can 
imagine, pulled up her skirt. I 

He saw himself standing there in the dim lamplight, 
with the smell of bugs and cheap scent in his nostrils, and 
in his heart a feeling of defeat and resentment which even 
at that moment was mixed up with the thought of Kath- 
arine's white body, frozen for ever by the hypnotic power 
of the Party. Why did it always have to be like this? Why 
could he not have a woman of his own instead of these filthy 
scuffles at intervals of years? But a real love affair was an al- 
most unthinkable event. The women of the Party were all 
alike. Chastity was as deep ingrained in them as Party loy- 
alty. By careful early conditioning, by games and cold water, 
by the rubbish that was dinned into them at school and in 
the Spies and the Youth League, by lectures, parades, songs, 
slogans, and martial music, the natural feeling had been 
driven out of them. His reason told him that there must be 
exceptions, but his heart did not believe it. They were all im- 
pregnable, as the Party intended that they should be. And 
what he wanted, more even than to be loved, was to break 
down that wall of virtue, even if it were only once in his 


whole life. The sexual act, successfully performed, was re- 
bellion. Desire was thoughtcrime. Even to have awakened 
Katharine, if he could have achieved it, would have been 
like a seduction, although she was his wife. 

But the rest of the story had got to be written down. He 

/ turned up the lamp. When I saw her in the light 

After the darkness the feeble light of the paraffin lamp 
had seemed very bright. For the first time he could see the 
woman properly. He had taken a step towards her and then 
halted, full of lust and terror. He was painfully conscious of 
the risk he had taken in coming here. It was perfectly pos- 
sible that the patrols would catch him on the way out: for 
that matter they might be waiting outside the door at this 
moment. If he went away without even doing what he had 
come here to do ! 

It had got to be written down, it had got to be confessed. 
What he had suddenly seen in the lamplight was that the 
woman was OLD. The paint was plastered so thick on her 
face that it looked as though it might crack like a cardboard 
mask. There were streaks of white in her hair; but the truly 
dreadful detail was that her mouth had fallen a little open, 
revealing nothing except a cavernous blackness. She had no 
teeth at all. 

He wrote hurriedly, in scrabbling handwriting: 

When I saw her in the light she was quite an old woman, fifty 87 

years old at least. But I went ahead and did it just the same. 

He pressed his ringers against his eyelids again. He had 
written it down at last, but it made no difference. The thera- 
py had not worked. The urge to shout filthy words at the top 
of his voice was as strong as ever. 


Chapter 7 

' If there is hope,' wrote Winston, 'it lies in the proles.' 

If there was hope, it MUST lie in the proles, because 
only there in those swarming disregarded masses, 85 per 
cent of the population of Oceania, could the force to de- 
stroy the Party ever be generated. The Party could not be 
overthrown from within. Its enemies, if it had any enemies, 
had no way of coming together or even of identifying one 
another. Even if the legendary Brotherhood existed, as just 
possibly it might, it was inconceivable that its members 
could ever assemble in larger numbers than twos and threes. 
Rebellion meant a look in the eyes, an inflexion of the voice, 
at the most, an occasional whispered word. But the proles, 
if only they could somehow become conscious of their own 
strength, would have no need to conspire. They needed only 
to rise up and shake themselves like a horse shaking off flies. 
If they chose they could blow the Party to pieces tomorrow 
morning. Surely sooner or later it must occur to them to do 

it? And yet ! 

He remembered how once he had been walking down 
a crowded street when a tremendous shout of hundreds of 
voices women's voices — had burst from a side-street a little 
way ahead. It was a great formidable cry of anger and de- 
spair, a deep, loud 'Oh-o-o-o-oh!' that went humming on 
like the reverberation of a bell. His heart had leapt. It's start- 

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ed! he had thought. A riot! The proles are breaking loose 
at last! When he had reached the spot it was to see a mob 
of two or three hundred women crowding round the stalls 
of a street market, with faces as tragic as though they had 
been the doomed passengers on a sinking ship. But at this 
moment the general despair broke down into a multitude 
of individual quarrels. It appeared that one of the stalls 
had been selling tin saucepans. They were wretched, flimsy 
things, but cooking-pots of any kind were always difficult 
to get. Now the supply had unexpectedly given out. The 
successful women, bumped and jostled by the rest, were 
trying to make off with their saucepans while dozens of 
others clamoured round the stall, accusing the stall-keeper 
of favouritism and of having more saucepans somewhere 
in reserve. There was a fresh outburst of yells. Two bloat- 
ed women, one of them with her hair coming down, had 
got hold of the same saucepan and were trying to tear it 
out of one another's hands. For a moment they were both 
tugging, and then the handle came off. Winston watched 
them disgustedly. And yet, just for a moment, what almost 
frightening power had sounded in that cry from only a few 
hundred throats! Why was it that they could never shout 
like that about anything that mattered? 
He wrote: 

Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until 
after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious. 

That, he reflected, might almost have been a transcrip- 

90 1984 

tion from one of the Party textbooks. The Party claimed, of 
course, to have liberated the proles from bondage. Before 
the Revolution they had been hideously oppressed by the 
capitalists, they had been starved and flogged, women had 
been forced to work in the coal mines (women still did work 
in the coal mines, as a matter of fact), children had been 
sold into the factories at the age of six. But simultaneous- 
ly, true to the Principles of doublethink, the Party taught 
that the proles were natural inferiors who must be kept in 
subjection, like animals, by the application of a few simple 
rules. In reality very little was known about the proles. It 
was not necessary to know much. So long as they contin- 
ued to work and breed, their other activities were without 
importance. Left to themselves, like cattle turned loose 
upon the plains of Argentina, they had reverted to a style of 
life that appeared to be natural to them, a sort of ancestral 
pattern. They were born, they grew up in the gutters, they 
went to work at twelve, they passed through a brief blos- 
soming-period of beauty and sexual desire, they married at 
twenty, they were middle-aged at thirty, they died, for the 
most part, at sixty. Heavy physical work, the care of home 
and children, petty quarrels with neighbours, films, foot- 
ball, beer, and above all, gambling, filled up the horizon 
of their minds. To keep them in control was not difficult. 
A few agents of the Thought Police moved always among 
them, spreading false rumours and marking down and 
eliminating the few individuals who were judged capable of 
becoming dangerous; but no attempt was made to indoctri- 
nate them with the ideology of the Party. It was not desirable 

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that the proles should have strong political feelings. All that 
was required of them was a primitive patriotism which 
could be appealed to whenever it was necessary to make 
them accept longer working-hours or shorter rations. And 
even when they became discontented, as they sometimes 
did, their discontent led nowhere, because being without 
general ideas, they could only focus it on petty specific 
grievances. The larger evils invariably escaped their notice. 
The great majority of proles did not even have telescreens in 
their homes. Even the civil police interfered with them very 
little. There was a vast amount of criminality in London, a 
whole world-within-a-world of thieves, bandits, prostitutes, 
drug-peddlers, and racketeers of every description; but 
since it all happened among the proles themselves, it was 
of no importance. In all questions of morals they were al- 
lowed to follow their ancestral code. The sexual puritanism 
of the Party was not imposed upon them. Promiscuity went 
unpunished, divorce was permitted. For that matter, even 
religious worship would have been permitted if the proles 
had shown any sign of needing or wanting it. They were 
beneath suspicion. As the Party slogan put it: 'Proles and 
animals are free.' 

Winston reached down and cautiously scratched his 
varicose ulcer. It had begun itching again. The thing you 
invariably came back to was the impossibility of knowing 
what life before the Revolution had really been like. He took 
out of the drawer a copy of a children's history textbook 
which he had borrowed from Mrs Parsons, and began copy- 
ing a passage into the diary: 


In the old days (it ran), before the glorious Revolution, 
London was not the beautiful city that we know today. It 
was a dark, dirty, miserable place where hardly anybody 
had enough to eat and where hundreds and thousands of 
poor people had no boots on their feet and not even a roof to 
sleep under. Children no older than you had to work twelve 
hours a day for cruel masters who flogged them with whips 
if they worked too slowly and fed them on nothing but stale 
breadcrusts and water. But in among all this terrible poverty 
there were just a few great big beautiful houses that were 
lived in by rich men who had as many as thirty servants to 
look after them. These rich men were called capitalists. They 
were fat, ugly men with wicked faces, like the one in the 
picture on the opposite page. You can see that he is dressed in 
a long black coat which was called a frock coat, and a queer, 
shiny hat shaped like a stovepipe, which was called a top hat. 
This was the uniform of the capitalists, and no one else was 
allowed to wear it. The capitalists owned everything in the 
world, and everyone else was their slave. They owned all the 
land, all the houses, all the factories, and all the money. If 
anyone disobeyed them they could throw them into prison, or 
they could take his job away and starve him to death. When 
any ordinary person spoke to a capitalist he had to cringe and 
bow to him, and take off his cap and address him as 'Sir'. The 
chief of all the capitalists was called the King, and 

But he knew the rest of the catalogue. There would be 
mention of the bishops in their lawn sleeves, the judges in 
their ermine robes, the pillory, the stocks, the treadmill, the 93 

cat-o'-nine tails, the Lord Mayor's Banquet, and the prac- 
tice of kissing the Pope's toe. There was also something 
called the JUS PRIMAE NOCTIS, which would probably 
not be mentioned in a textbook for children. It was the law 
by which every capitalist had the right to sleep with any 
woman working in one of his factories. 

How could you tell how much of it was lies? It MIGHT 
be true that the average human being was better off now 
than he had been before the Revolution. The only evidence 
to the contrary was the mute protest in your own bones, the 
instinctive feeling that the conditions you lived in were in- 
tolerable and that at some other time they must have been 
different. It struck him that the truly characteristic thing 
about modern life was not its cruelty and insecurity, but 
simply its bareness, its dinginess, its listlessness. Life, if you 
looked about you, bore no resemblance not only to the lies 
that streamed out of the telescreens, but even to the ideals 
that the Party was trying to achieve. Great areas of it, even 
for a Party member, were neutral and non-political, a mat- 
ter of slogging through dreary jobs, fighting for a place on 
the Tube, darning a worn-out sock, cadging a saccharine 
tablet, saving a cigarette end. The ideal set up by the Par- 
ty was something huge, terrible, and glittering — a world of 
steel and concrete, of monstrous machines and terrifying 
weapons — a nation of warriors and fanatics, marching for- 
ward in perfect unity, all thinking the same thoughts and 
shouting the same slogans, perpetually working, fighting, 
triumphing, persecuting — three hundred million people all 
with the same face. The reality was decaying, dingy cities 


where underfed people shuffled to and fro in leaky shoes, 
in patched-up nineteenth-century houses that smelt always 
of cabbage and bad lavatories. He seemed to see a vision of 
London, vast and ruinous, city of a million dustbins, and 
mixed up with it was a picture of Mrs Parsons, a woman 
with lined face and wispy hair, fiddling helplessly with a 
blocked waste-pipe. 

He reached down and scratched his ankle again. Day 
and night the telescreens bruised your ears with statistics 
proving that people today had more food, more clothes, 
better houses, better recreations — that they lived longer, 
worked shorter hours, were bigger, healthier, stronger, hap- 
pier, more intelligent, better educated, than the people of 
fifty years ago. Not a word of it could ever be proved or dis- 
proved. The Party claimed, for example, that today 40 per 
cent of adult proles were literate: before the Revolution, it 
was said, the number had only been 15 per cent. The Party 
claimed that the infant mortality rate was now only 160 per 
thousand, whereas before the Revolution it had been 300 — 
and so it went on. It was like a single equation with two 
unknowns. It might very well be that literally every word in 
the history books, even the things that one accepted with- 
out question, was pure fantasy. For all he knew there might 
never have been any such law as the JUS PRIMAE NOCTIS, 
or any such creature as a capitalist, or any such garment as 
a top hat. 

Everything faded into mist. The past was erased, the era- 
sure was forgotten, the lie became truth. Just once in his 
life he had possessed— AFTER the event: that was what 

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counted — concrete, unmistakable evidence of an act of fal- 
sification. He had held it between his fingers for as long as 
thirty seconds. In 1973, it must have been — at any rate, it 
was at about the time when he and Katharine had parted. 
But the really relevant date was seven or eight years earlier. 
The story really began in the middle sixties, the period of 
the great purges in which the original leaders of the Revolu- 
tion were wiped out once and for all. By 1970 none of them 
was left, except Big Brother himself. All the rest had by that 
time been exposed as traitors and counter-revolutionar- 
ies. Goldstein had fled and was hiding no one knew where, 
and of the others, a few had simply disappeared, while the 
majority had been executed after spectacular public trials 
at which they made confession of their crimes. Among the 
last survivors were three men named Jones, Aaronson, and 
Rutherford. It must have been in 1965 that these three had 
been arrested. As often happened, they had vanished for a 
year or more, so that one did not know whether they were 
alive or dead, and then had suddenly been brought forth 
to incriminate themselves in the usual way. They had con- 
fessed to intelligence with the enemy (at that date, too, the 
enemy was Eurasia), embezzlement of public funds, the 
murder of various trusted Party members, intrigues against 
the leadership of Big Brother which had started long before 
the Revolution happened, and acts of sabotage causing the 
death of hundreds of thousands of people. After confess- 
ing to these things they had been pardoned, reinstated in 
the Party, and given posts which were in fact sinecures but 
which sounded important. All three had written long, ab- 

96 1984 

ject articles in "The Times', analysing the reasons for their 
defection and promising to make amends. 

Some time after their release Winston had actually seen 
all three of them in the Chestnut Tree Cafe. He remembered 
the sort of terrified fascination with which he had watched 
them out of the corner of his eye. They were men far old- 
er than himself, relics of the ancient world, almost the last 
great figures left over from the heroic days of the Party. The 
glamour of the underground struggle and the civil war still 
faintly clung to them. He had the feeling, though already at 
that time facts and dates were growing blurry, that he had 
known their names years earlier than he had known that of 
Big Brother. But also they were outlaws, enemies, untouch- 
ables, doomed with absolute certainty to extinction within 
a year or two. No one who had once fallen into the hands 
of the Thought Police ever escaped in the end. They were 
corpses waiting to be sent back to the grave. 

There was no one at any of the tables nearest to them. It 
was not wise even to be seen in the neighbourhood of such 
people. They were sitting in silence before glasses of the gin 
flavoured with cloves which was the speciality of the cafe. 
Of the three, it was Rutherford whose appearance had most 
impressed Winston. Rutherford had once been a famous 
caricaturist, whose brutal cartoons had helped to inflame 
popular opinion before and during the Revolution. Even 
now, at long intervals, his cartoons were appearing in The 
Times. They were simply an imitation of his earlier manner, 
and curiously lifeless and unconvincing. Always they were 
a rehashing of the ancient themes — slum tenements, starv- 97 

ing children, street battles, capitalists in top hats — even on 
the barricades the capitalists still seemed to cling to their 
top hats an endless, hopeless effort to get back into the past. 
He was a monstrous man, with a mane of greasy grey hair, 
his face pouched and seamed, with thick negroid lips. At 
one time he must have been immensely strong; now his 
great body was sagging, sloping, bulging, falling away in 
every direction. He seemed to be breaking up before one's 
eyes, like a mountain crumbling. 

It was the lonely hour of fifteen. Winston could not 
now remember how he had come to be in the cafe at such 
a time. The place was almost empty. A tinny music was 
trickling from the telescreens. The three men sat in their 
corner almost motionless, never speaking. Uncommanded, 
the waiter brought fresh glasses of gin. There was a chess- 
board on the table beside them, with the pieces set out but 
no game started. And then, for perhaps half a minute in all, 
something happened to the telescreens. The tune that they 
were playing changed, and the tone of the music changed 
too. There came into it — but it was something hard to de- 
scribe. It was a peculiar, cracked, braying, jeering note: in 
his mind Winston called it a yellow note. And then a voice 
from the telescreen was singing: 

Under the spreading chestnut tree 
I sold you and you sold me: 
There lie they, and here lie we 
Under the spreading chestnut tree. 


The three men never stirred. But when Winston glanced 
again at Rutherford's ruinous face, he saw that his eyes 
were full of tears. And for the first time he noticed, with a 
kind of inward shudder, and yet not knowing AT WHAT 
he shuddered, that both Aaronson and Rutherford had bro- 
ken noses. 

A little later all three were re- arrested. It appeared that 
they had engaged in fresh conspiracies from the very mo- 
ment of their release. At their second trial they confessed to 
all their old crimes over again, with a whole string of new 
ones. They were executed, and their fate was recorded in 
the Party histories, a warning to posterity. About five years 
after this, in 1973, Winston was unrolling a wad of docu- 
ments which had just flopped out of the pneumatic tube on 
to his desk when he came on a fragment of paper which 
had evidently been slipped in among the others and then 
forgotten. The instant he had flattened it out he saw its sig- 
nificance. It was a half-page torn out of 'The Times' of about 
ten years earlier — the top half of the page, so that it included 
the date — and it contained a photograph of the delegates at 
some Party function in New York. Prominent in the middle 
of the group were Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford. There 
was no mistaking them, in any case their names were in the 
caption at the bottom. 

The point was that at both trials all three men had con- 
fessed that on that date they had been on Eurasian soil. They 
had flown from a secret airfield in Canada to a rendezvous 
somewhere in Siberia, and had conferred with members of 
the Eurasian General Staff, to whom they had betrayed im- 99 

portant military secrets. The date had stuck in Winston's 
memory because it chanced to be midsummer day; but the 
whole story must be on record in countless other places as 
well. There was only one possible conclusion: the confes- 
sions were lies. 

Of course, this was not in itself a discovery. Even at that 
time Winston had not imagined that the people who were 
wiped out in the purges had actually committed the crimes 
that they were accused of. But this was concrete evidence; 
it was a fragment of the abolished past, like a fossil bone 
which turns up in the wrong stratum and destroys a geo- 
logical theory. It was enough to blow the Party to atoms, if 
in some way it could have been published to the world and 
its significance made known. 

He had gone straight on working. As soon as he saw what 
the photograph was, and what it meant, he had covered it 
up with another sheet of paper. Luckily, when he unrolled 
it, it had been upside-down from the point of view of the 

He took his scribbling pad on his knee and pushed back 
his chair so as to get as far away from the telescreen as pos- 
sible. To keep your face expressionless was not difficult, and 
even your breathing could be controlled, with an effort: 
but you could not control the beating of your heart, and 
the telescreen was quite delicate enough to pick it up. He 
let what he judged to be ten minutes go by, tormented all 
the while by the fear that some accident — a sudden draught 
blowing across his desk, for instance — would betray him. 
Then, without uncovering it again, he dropped the photo- 


graph into the memory hole, along with some other waste 
papers. Within another minute, perhaps, it would have 
crumbled into ashes. 

That was ten — eleven years ago. Today, probably, he 
would have kept that photograph. It was curious that the 
fact of having held it in his fingers seemed to him to make 
a difference even now, when the photograph itself, as well 
as the event it recorded, was only memory. Was the Party's 
hold upon the past less strong, he wondered, because a piece 
of evidence which existed no longer HAD ONCE existed? 

But today, supposing that it could be somehow resur- 
rected from its ashes, the photograph might not even be 
evidence. Already, at the time when he made his discov- 
ery, Oceania was no longer at war with Eurasia, and it must 
have been to the agents of Eastasia that the three dead men 
had betrayed their country. Since then there had been oth- 
er changes — two, three, he could not remember how many. 
Very likely the confessions had been rewritten and rewritten 
until the original facts and dates no longer had the small- 
est significance. The past not only changed, but changed 
continuously. What most afflicted him with the sense of 
nightmare was that he had never clearly understood why 
the huge imposture was undertaken. The immediate advan- 
tages of falsifying the past were obvious, but the ultimate 
motive was mysterious. He took up his pen again and 

/ understand HOW: I do not understand WHY. 

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He wondered, as he had many times wondered before, 
whether he himself was a lunatic. Perhaps a lunatic was 
simply a minority of one. At one time it had been a sign of 
madness to believe that the earth goes round the sun; today, 
to believe that the past is inalterable. He might be ALONE 
in holding that belief, and if alone, then a lunatic. But the 
thought of being a lunatic did not greatly trouble him: the 
horror was that he might also be wrong. 

He picked up the children's history book and looked at 
the portrait of Big Brother which formed its frontispiece. 
The hypnotic eyes gazed into his own. It was as though 
some huge force were pressing down upon you — something 
that penetrated inside your skull, battering against your 
brain, frightening you out of your beliefs, persuading you, 
almost, to deny the evidence of your senses. In the end the 
Party would announce that two and two made five, and you 
would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should 
make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position 
demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the 
very existence of external reality, was tacitly denied by their 
philosophy. The heresy of heresies was common sense. And 
what was terrifying was not that they would kill you for 
thinking otherwise, but that they might be right. For, after 
all, how do we know that two and two make four? Or that 
the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchange- 
able? If both the past and the external world exist only in 
the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable what then? 

But no! His courage seemed suddenly to stiffen of its 
own accord. The face of O'Brien, not called up by any obvi- 


ous association, had floated into his mind. He knew, with 
more certainty than before, that O'Brien was on his side. 
He was writing the diary for O'Brien — TO O'Brien: it was 
like an interminable letter which no one would ever read, 
but which was addressed to a particular person and took its 
colour from that fact. 

The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and 
ears. It was their final, most essential command. His heart 
sank as he thought of the enormous power arrayed against 
him, the ease with which any Party intellectual would over- 
throw him in debate, the subtle arguments which he would 
not be able to understand, much less answer. And yet he 
was in the right! They were wrong and he was right. The 
obvious, the silly, and the true had got to be defended. Tru- 
isms are true, hold on to that! The solid world exists, its laws 
do not change. Stones are hard, water is wet, objects unsup- 
ported fall towards the earth's centre. With the feeling that 
he was speaking to O'Brien, and also that he was setting 
forth an important axiom, he wrote: 

Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If 
that is granted, all else follows. 

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Chapter 8 

From somewhere at the bottom of a passage the smell of 
roasting coffee — real coffee, not Victory Coffee — came 
floating out into the street. Winston paused involuntarily. 
For perhaps two seconds he was back in the half-forgotten 
world of his childhood. Then a door banged, seeming to cut 
off the smell as abruptly as though it had been a sound. 

He had walked several kilometres over pavements, and 
his varicose ulcer was throbbing. This was the second time 
in three weeks that he had missed an evening at the Com- 
munity Centre: a rash act, since you could be certain that 
the number of your attendances at the Centre was care- 
fully checked. In principle a Party member had no spare 
time, and was never alone except in bed. It was assumed 
that when he was not working, eating, or sleeping he would 
be taking part in some kind of communal recreation: to do 
anything that suggested a taste for solitude, even to go for a 
walk by yourself, was always slightly dangerous. There was 
a word for it in Newspeak: OWNLIFE, it was called, mean- 
ing individualism and eccentricity. But this evening as he 
came out of the Ministry the balminess of the April air had 
tempted him. The sky was a warmer blue than he had seen it 
that year, and suddenly the long, noisy evening at the Cen- 
tre, the boring, exhausting games, the lectures, the creaking 
camaraderie oiled by gin, had seemed intolerable. On im- 


pulse he had turned away from the bus-stop and wandered 
off into the labyrinth of London, first south, then east, then 
north again, losing himself among unknown streets and 
hardly bothering in which direction he was going. 

'If there is hope,' he had written in the diary, 'it lies in 
the proles.' The words kept coming back to him, statement 
of a mystical truth and a palpable absurdity. He was some- 
where in the vague, brown-coloured slums to the north and 
east of what had once been Saint Pancras Station. He was 
walking up a cobbled street of little two-storey houses with 
battered doorways which gave straight on the pavement 
and which were somehow curiously suggestive of ratholes. 
There were puddles of filthy water here and there among the 
cobbles. In and out of the dark doorways, and down narrow 
alley- ways that branched off on either side, people swarmed 
in astonishing numbers — girls in full bloom, with crude- 
ly lipsticked mouths, and youths who chased the girls, and 
swollen waddling women who showed you what the girls 
would be like in ten years' time, and old bent creatures shuf- 
fling along on splayed feet, and ragged barefooted children 
who played in the puddles and then scattered at angry yells 
from their mothers. Perhaps a quarter of the windows in 
the street were broken and boarded up. Most of the people 
paid no attention to Winston; a few eyed him with a sort of 
guarded curiosity. Two monstrous women with brick-red 
forearms folded across their aprons were talking outside a 
doorway. Winston caught scraps of conversation as he ap- 

"Yes,' I says to 'er, 'that's all very well,' I says. 'But if you'd 

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of been in my place you'd of done the same as what I done. 
It's easy to criticize,' I says, 'but you ain't got the same prob- 
lems as what I got." 

'Ah,' said the other, 'that's jest it. That's jest where it is.' 

The strident voices stopped abruptly. The women stud- 
ied him in hostile silence as he went past. But it was not 
hostility, exactly; merely a kind of wariness, a momentary 
stiffening, as at the passing of some unfamiliar animal. The 
blue overalls of the Party could not be a common sight in 
a street like this. Indeed, it was unwise to be seen in such 
places, unless you had definite business there. The patrols 
might stop you if you happened to run into them. 'May I see 
your papers, comrade? What are you doing here? What time 
did you leave work? Is this your usual way home?' — and so 
on and so forth. Not that there was any rule against walking 
home by an unusual route: but it was enough to draw atten- 
tion to you if the Thought Police heard about it. 

Suddenly the whole street was in commotion. There 
were yells of warning from all sides. People were shooting 
into the doorways like rabbits. A young woman leapt out 
of a doorway a little ahead of Winston, grabbed up a tiny 
child playing in a puddle, whipped her apron round it, and 
leapt back again, all in one movement. At the same instant a 
man in a concertina-like black suit, who had emerged from 
a side alley, ran towards Winston, pointing excitedly to the 

'Steamer!' he yelled. 'Look out, guv'nor! Bang over'ead! 
Lay down quick!' 

'Steamer' was a nickname which, for some reason, the 


proles applied to rocket bombs. Winston promptly flung 
himself on his face. The proles were nearly always right 
when they gave you a warning of this kind. They seemed 
to possess some kind of instinct which told them several 
seconds in advance when a rocket was coming, although 
the rockets supposedly travelled faster than sound. Win- 
ston clasped his forearms above his head. There was a roar 
that seemed to make the pavement heave; a shower of light 
objects pattered on to his back. When he stood up he found 
that he was covered with fragments of glass from the near- 
est window. 

He walked on. The bomb had demolished a group of 
houses 200 metres up the street. A black plume of smoke 
hung in the sky, and below it a cloud of plaster dust in which 
a crowd was already forming around the ruins. There was a 
little pile of plaster lying on the pavement ahead of him, and 
in the middle of it he could see a bright red streak. When he 
got up to it he saw that it was a human hand severed at the 
wrist. Apart from the bloody stump, the hand was so com- 
pletely whitened as to resemble a plaster cast. 

He kicked the thing into the gutter, and then, to avoid 
the crowd, turned down a side-street to the right. With- 
in three or four minutes he was out of the area which the 
bomb had affected, and the sordid swarming life of the 
streets was going on as though nothing had happened. It 
was nearly twenty hours, and the drinking-shops which the 
proles frequented (pubs', they called them) were choked 
with customers. From their grimy swing doors, endlessly 
opening and shutting, there came forth a smell of urine, 

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sawdust, and sour beer. In an angle formed by a projecting 
house-front three men were standing very close togeth- 
er, the middle one of them holding a folded- up newspaper 
which the other two were studying over his shoulder. Even 
before he was near enough to make out the expression on 
their faces, Winston could see absorption in every line of 
their bodies. It was obviously some serious piece of news 
that they were reading. He was a few paces away from them 
when suddenly the group broke up and two of the men were 
in violent altercation. For a moment they seemed almost on 
the point of blows. 

'Can't you bleeding well listen to what I say? I tell you 
no number ending in seven ain't won for over fourteen 

'Yes, it 'as, then!' 

'No, it 'as not! Back 'ome I got the 'ole lot of 'em for over 
two years wrote down on a piece of paper. I takes 'em down 
reg'lar as the clock. An' I tell you, no number ending in 
seven ' 

'Yes, a seven 'AS won! I could pretty near tell you the 
bleeding number. Four oh seven, it ended in. It were in Feb- 
ruary — second week in February' 

'February your grandmother! I got it all down in black 
and white. An' I tell you, no number ' 

'Oh, pack it in!' said the third man. 

They were talking about the Lottery. Winston looked 
back when he had gone thirty metres. They were still ar- 
guing, with vivid, passionate faces. The Lottery, with its 
weekly pay-out of enormous prizes, was the one public event 


to which the proles paid serious attention. It was probable 
that there were some millions of proles for whom the Lot- 
tery was the principal if not the only reason for remaining 
alive. It was their delight, their folly, their anodyne, their 
intellectual stimulant. Where the Lottery was concerned, 
even people who could barely read and write seemed capa- 
ble of intricate calculations and staggering feats of memory. 
There was a whole tribe of men who made a living simply by 
selling systems, forecasts, and lucky amulets. Winston had 
nothing to do with the running of the Lottery, which was 
managed by the Ministry of Plenty, but he was aware (in- 
deed everyone in the party was aware) that the prizes were 
largely imaginary. Only small sums were actually paid out, 
the winners of the big prizes being non-existent persons. In 
the absence of any real intercommunication between one 
part of Oceania and another, this was not difficult to ar- 

But if there was hope, it lay in the proles. You had to cling 
on to that. When you put it in words it sounded reasonable: 
it was when you looked at the human beings passing you on 
the pavement that it became an act of faith. The street into 
which he had turned ran downhill. He had a feeling that he 
had been in this neighbourhood before, and that there was 
a main thoroughfare not far away. From somewhere ahead 
there came a din of shouting voices. The street took a sharp 
turn and then ended in a flight of steps which led down into 
a sunken alley where a few stall-keepers were selling tired- 
looking vegetables. At this moment Winston remembered 
where he was. The alley led out into the main street, and 

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down the next turning, not five minutes away, was the junk- 
shop where he had bought the blank book which was now 
his diary. And in a small stationer's shop not far away he 
had bought his penholder and his bottle of ink. 

He paused for a moment at the top of the steps. On the 
opposite side of the alley there was a dingy little pub whose 
windows appeared to be frosted over but in reality were 
merely coated with dust. A very old man, bent but active, 
with white moustaches that bristled forward like those of a 
prawn, pushed open the swing door and went in. As Win- 
ston stood watching, it occurred to him that the old man, 
who must be eighty at the least, had already been middle- 
aged when the Revolution happened. He and a few others 
like him were the last links that now existed with the van- 
ished world of capitalism. In the Party itself there were not 
many people left whose ideas had been formed before the 
Revolution. The older generation had mostly been wiped out 
in the great purges of the fifties and sixties, and the few who 
survived had long ago been terrified into complete intellec- 
tual surrender. If there was any one still alive who could 
give you a truthful account of conditions in the early part 
of the century, it could only be a prole. Suddenly the pas- 
sage from the history book that he had copied into his diary 
came back into Winston's mind, and a lunatic impulse took 
hold of him. He would go into the pub, he would scrape ac- 
quaintance with that old man and question him. He would 
say to him: 'Tell me about your life when you were a boy. 
What was it like in those days? Were things better than they 
are now, or were they worse?' 


Hurriedly, lest he should have time to become frightened, 
he descended the steps and crossed the narrow street. It 
was madness of course. As usual, there was no definite rule 
against talking to proles and frequenting their pubs, but it 
was far too unusual an action to pass unnoticed. If the pa- 
trols appeared he might plead an attack of faintness, but it 
was not likely that they would believe him. He pushed open 
the door, and a hideous cheesy smell of sour beer hit him in 
the face. As he entered the din of voices dropped to about 
half its volume. Behind his back he could feel everyone eye- 
ing his blue overalls. A game of darts which was going on at 
the other end of the room interrupted itself for perhaps as 
much as thirty seconds. The old man whom he had followed 
was standing at the bar, having some kind of altercation 
with the barman, a large, stout, hook-nosed young man 
with enormous forearms. A knot of others, standing round 
with glasses in their hands, were watching the scene. 

'I arst you civil enough, didn't I?' said the old man, 
straightening his shoulders pugnaciously. 'You telling me 
you ain't got a pint mug in the 'ole bleeding boozer?' 

And what in hell's name IS a pint?' said the barman, lean- 
ing forward with the tips of his fingers on the counter. 

"Ark at 'im! Calls 'isself a barman and don't know what 
a pint is! Why, a pint's the 'alf of a quart, and there's four 
quarts to the gallon. Ave to teach you the A, B, C next.' 

'Never heard of 'em,' said the barman shortly. 'Litre and 
half litre — that's all we serve. There's the glasses on the shelf 
in front of you.' 

'I likes a pint,' persisted the old man. 'You could 'a drawed 111 

me off a pint easy enough. We didn't 'ave these bleeding li- 
tres when I was a young man.' 

'When you were a young man we were all living in the 
treetops,' said the barman, with a glance at the other cus- 

There was a shout of laughter, and the uneasiness caused 
by Winston's entry seemed to disappear. The old man's whit- 
estubbled face had flushed pink. He turned away, muttering 
to himself, and bumped into Winston. Winston caught him 
gently by the arm. 

'May I offer you a drink?' he said. 

'You're a gent,' said the other, straightening his shoul- 
ders again. He appeared not to have noticed Winston's blue 
overalls. 'Pint!' he added aggressively to the barman. 'Pint 
of wallop.' 

The barman swished two half-litres of dark-brown beer 
into thick glasses which he had rinsed in a bucket under 
the counter. Beer was the only drink you could get in prole 
pubs. The proles were supposed not to drink gin, though in 
practice they could get hold of it easily enough. The game of 
darts was in full swing again, and the knot of men at the bar 
had begun talking about lottery tickets. Winston's presence 
was forgotten for a moment. There was a deal table under 
the window where he and the old man could talk without 
fear of being overheard. It was horribly dangerous, but at 
any rate there was no telescreen in the room, a point he had 
made sure of as soon as he came in. 

"E could 'a drawed me off a pint,' grumbled the old man 
as he settled down behind a glass. 'A 'alf litre ain't enough. It 


don't satisfy. And a 'ole litre's too much. It starts my bladder 
running. Let alone the price.' 

'You must have seen great changes since you were a young 
man,' said Winston tentatively. 

The old man's pale blue eyes moved from the darts board 
to the bar, and from the bar to the door of the Gents, as 
though it were in the bar-room that he expected the chang- 
es to have occurred. 

"The beer was better,' he said finally. 'And cheaper! When 
I was a young man, mild beer — wallop we used to call it — 
was fourpence a pint. That was before the war, of course.' 

'Which war was that?' said Winston. 

'It's all wars,' said the old man vaguely. He took up his 
glass, and his shoulders straightened again. "Ere's wishing 
you the very best of 'ealth!' 

In his lean throat the sharp -pointed Adam's apple made 
a surprisingly rapid up-and-down movement, and the beer 
vanished. Winston went to the bar and came back with two 
more half-litres. The old man appeared to have forgotten 
his prejudice against drinking a full litre. 

'You are very much older than I am,' said Winston. 'You 
must have been a grown man before I was born. You can 
remember what it was like in the old days, before the Revo- 
lution. People of my age don't really know anything about 
those times. We can only read about them in books, and 
what it says in the books may not be true. I should like your 
opinion on that. The history books say that life before the 
Revolution was completely different from what it is now. 
There was the most terrible oppression, injustice, poverty 113 

worse than anything we can imagine. Here in London, the 
great mass of the people never had enough to eat from birth 
to death. Half of them hadn't even boots on their feet. They 
worked twelve hours a day, they left school at nine, they 
slept ten in a room. And at the same time there were a very 
few people, only a few thousands — the capitalists, they were 
called — who were rich and powerful. They owned every- 
thing that there was to own. They lived in great gorgeous 
houses with thirty servants, they rode about in motor-cars 
and four-horse carriages, they drank champagne, they wore 
top hats ' 

The old man brightened suddenly. 

'Top 'ats!' he said. 'Funny you should mention 'em. The 
same thing come into my 'ead only yesterday, I dono why. I 
was jest thinking, I ain't seen a top 'at in years. Gorn right 
out, they 'ave. The last time I wore one was at my sister-in- 
law's funeral. And that was — well, I couldn't give you the 
date, but it must 'a been fifty years ago. Of course it was only 
'ired for the occasion, you understand.' 

'It isn't very important about the top hats,' said Winston 
patiently. 'The point is, these capitalists — they and a few 
lawyers and priests and so forth who lived on them — were 
the lords of the earth. Everything existed for their benefit. 
You — the ordinary people, the workers — were their slaves. 
They could do what they liked with you. They could ship 
you off to Canada like cattle. They could sleep with your 
daughters if they chose. They could order you to be flogged 
with something called a cat-o'-nine tails. You had to take 
your cap off when you passed them. Every capitalist went 


about with a gang of lackeys who ' 

The old man brightened again. 

'Lackeys!' he said. 'Now there's a word I ain't 'eard since 
ever so long. Lackeys! That reg'lar takes me back, that does. 
I recollect oh, donkey's years ago — I used to sometimes go 
to 'Yde Park of a Sunday afternoon to 'ear the blokes making 
speeches. Salvation Army, Roman Catholics, Jews, Indi- 
ans — all sorts there was. And there was one bloke — well, I 
couldn't give you 'is name, but a real powerful speaker 'e 
was. 'E didn't 'alf give it 'em! 'Lackeys!' 'e says, 'lackeys of 
the bourgeoisie! Flunkies of the ruling class!' Parasites — 
that was another of them. And 'yenas — 'e definitely called 
'em 'yenas. Of course 'e was referring to the Labour Party, 
you understand.' 

Winston had the feeling that they were talking at cross- 

'What I really wanted to know was this,' he said. 'Do you 
feel that you have more freedom now than you had in those 
days? Are you treated more like a human being? In the old 
days, the rich people, the people at the top ' 

'The 'Ouse of Lords,' put in the old man reminiscently 

'The House of Lords, if you like. What I am asking is, 
were these people able to treat you as an inferior, simply 
because they were rich and you were poor? Is it a fact, for 
instance, that you had to call them 'Sir' and take off your 
cap when you passed them?' 

The old man appeared to think deeply. He drank off 
about a quarter of his beer before answering. 

'Yes,' he said. "They liked you to touch your cap to 'em. 

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It showed respect, like. I didn't agree with it, myself, but I 
done it often enough. Had to, as you might say' 

'And was it usual — I'm only quoting what I've read in his- 
tory books — was it usual for these people and their servants 
to push you off the pavement into the gutter?' 

'One of 'em pushed me once,' said the old man. 'I recol- 
lect it as if it was yesterday. It was Boat Race night — terribly 
rowdy they used to get on Boat Race night — and I bumps 
into a young bloke on Shaftesbury Avenue. Quite a gent, 
'e was — dress shirt, top 'at, black overcoat. 'E was kind of 
zig-zagging across the pavement, and I bumps into 'im acci- 
dental-like. 'E says, 'Why can't you look where you're going?' 
'e says. I say, 'Ju think you've bought the bleeding pavement?' 
'E says, 'I'll twist your bloody 'ead off if you get fresh with 
me.' I says, 'You're drunk. I'll give you in charge in 'alf a 
minute,' I says. An' if you'll believe me, 'e puts 'is 'and on my 
chest and gives me a shove as pretty near sent me under the 
wheels of a bus. Well, I was young in them days, and I was 
going to 'ave fetched 'im one, only ' 

A sense of helplessness took hold of Winston. The old 
man's memory was nothing but a rubbish-heap of details. 
One could question him all day without getting any real 
information. The party histories might still be true, after a 
fashion: they might even be completely true. He made a last 

'Perhaps I have not made myself clear,' he said. 'What I'm 
trying to say is this. You have been alive a very long time; 
you lived half your life before the Revolution. In 1925, for 
instance, you were already grown up. Would you say from 


what you can remember, that life in 1925 was better than it 
is now, or worse? If you could choose, would you prefer to 
live then or now?' 

The old man looked meditatively at the darts board. He 
finished up his beer, more slowly than before. When he 
spoke it was with a tolerant philosophical air, as though the 
beer had mellowed him. 

'I know what you expect me to say' he said. 'You expect 
me to say as I'd sooner be young again. Most people'd say 
they'd sooner be young, if you arst' 'em. You got your 'ealth 
and strength when you're young. When you get to my time 
of life you ain't never well. I suffer something wicked from 
my feet, and my bladder's jest terrible. Six and seven times 
a night it 'as me out of bed. On the other 'and, there's great 
advantages in being a old man. You ain't got the same wor- 
ries. No truck with women, and that's a great thing. I ain't 
'ad a woman for near on thirty year, if you'd credit it. Nor 
wanted to, what's more.' 

Winston sat back against the window-sill. It was no use 
going on. He was about to buy some more beer when the old 
man suddenly got up and shuffled rapidly into the stink- 
ing urinal at the side of the room. The extra half-litre was 
already working on him. Winston sat for a minute or two 
gazing at his empty glass, and hardly noticed when his feet 
carried him out into the street again. Within twenty years 
at the most, he reflected, the huge and simple question, 
'Was life better before the Revolution than it is now?' would 
have ceased once and for all to be answerable. But in effect 
it was unanswerable even now, since the few scattered sur- 117 

vivors from the ancient world were incapable of comparing 
one age with another. They remembered a million useless 
things, a quarrel with a workmate, a hunt for a lost bicy- 
cle pump, the expression on a long- dead sister's face, the 
swirls of dust on a windy morning seventy years ago: but 
all the relevant facts were outside the range of their vision. 
They were like the ant, which can see small objects but not 
large ones. And when memory failed and written records 
were falsified — when that happened, the claim of the Party 
to have improved the conditions of human life had got to be 
accepted, because there did not exist, and never again could 
exist, any standard against which it could be tested. 

At this moment his train of thought stopped abruptly. 
He halted and looked up. He was in a narrow street, with a 
few dark little shops, interspersed among dwelling-houses. 
Immediately above his head there hung three discoloured 
metal balls which looked as if they had once been gilded. 
He seemed to know the place. Of course! He was standing 
outside the junk-shop where he had bought the diary. 

A twinge of fear went through him. It had been a suf- 
ficiently rash act to buy the book in the beginning, and he 
had sworn never to come near the place again. And yet the 
instant that he allowed his thoughts to wander, his feet had 
brought him back here of their own accord. It was precisely 
against suicidal impulses of this kind that he had hoped to 
guard himself by opening the diary. At the same time he 
noticed that although it was nearly twenty-one hours the 
shop was still open. With the feeling that he would be less 
conspicuous inside than hanging about on the pavement, 


he stepped through the doorway. If questioned, he could 
plausibly say that he was trying to buy razor blades. 

The proprietor had just lighted a hanging oil lamp which 
gave off an unclean but friendly smell. He was a man of per- 
haps sixty, frail and bowed, with a long, benevolent nose, 
and mild eyes distorted by thick spectacles. His hair was al- 
most white, but his eyebrows were bushy and still black. His 
spectacles, his gentle, fussy movements, and the fact that he 
was wearing an aged jacket of black velvet, gave him a vague 
air of intellectuality, as though he had been some kind of 
literary man, or perhaps a musician. His voice was soft, as 
though faded, and his accent less debased than that of the 
majority of proles. 

'I recognized you on the pavement,' he said immediately. 
'You're the gentleman that bought the young lady's keepsake 
album. That was a beautiful bit of paper, that was. Cream- 
laid, it used to be called. There's been no paper like that 
made for — oh, I dare say fifty years.' He peered at Winston 
over the top of his spectacles. 'Is there anything special I 
can do for you? Or did you just want to look round?' 

T was passing,' said Winston vaguely. T just looked in. I 
don't want anything in particular.' 

'It's just as well,' said the other, 'because I don't suppose 
I could have satisfied you.' He made an apologetic gesture 
with his softpalmed hand. 'You see how it is; an empty shop, 
you might say. Between you and me, the antique trade's just 
about finished. No demand any longer, and no stock either. 
Furniture, china, glass it's all been broken up by degrees. 
And of course the metal stuff's mostly been melted down. I 

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haven't seen a brass candlestick in years.' 

The tiny interior of the shop was in fact uncomfortably 
full, but there was almost nothing in it of the slightest val- 
ue. The floorspace was very restricted, because all round 
the walls were stacked innumerable dusty picture-frames. 
In the window there were trays of nuts and bolts, worn-out 
chisels, penknives with broken blades, tarnished watches 
that did not even pretend to be in going order, and other 
miscellaneous rubbish. Only on a small table in the corner 
was there a litter of odds and ends — lacquered snuffbox- 
es, agate brooches, and the like — which looked as though 
they might include something interesting. As Winston 
wandered towards the table his eye was caught by a round, 
smooth thing that gleamed softly in the lamplight, and he 
picked it up. 

It was a heavy lump of glass, curved on one side, flat 
on the other, making almost a hemisphere. There was a 
peculiar softness, as of rainwater, in both the colour and 
the texture of the glass. At the heart of it, magnified by the 
curved surface, there was a strange, pink, convoluted object 
that recalled a rose or a sea anemone. 

'What is it?' said Winston, fascinated. 

'That's coral, that is,' said the old man. 'It must have come 
from the Indian Ocean. They used to kind of embed it in 
the glass. That wasn't made less than a hundred years ago. 
More, by the look of it.' 

'It's a beautiful thing,' said Winston. 

'It is a beautiful thing,' said the other appreciatively. 'But 
there's not many that' d say so nowadays.' He coughed. 'Now, 


if it so happened that you wanted to buy it, that'd cost you 
four dollars. I can remember when a thing like that would 
have fetched eight pounds, and eight pounds was — well, I 
can't work it out, but it was a lot of money. But who cares 
about genuine antiques nowadays — even the few that's 

Winston immediately paid over the four dollars and slid 
the coveted thing into his pocket. What appealed to him 
about it was not so much its beauty as the air it seemed to 
possess of belonging to an age quite different from the pres- 
ent one. The soft, rainwatery glass was not like any glass that 
he had ever seen. The thing was doubly attractive because 
of its apparent uselessness, though he could guess that it 
must once have been intended as a paperweight. It was very 
heavy in his pocket, but fortunately it did not make much 
of a bulge. It was a queer thing, even a compromising thing, 
for a Party member to have in his possession. Anything old, 
and for that matter anything beautiful, was always vaguely 
suspect. The old man had grown noticeably more cheerful 
after receiving the four dollars. Winston realized that he 
would have accepted three or even two. 

"There's another room upstairs that you might care to 
take a look at,' he said. 'There's not much in it. Just a few 
pieces. We'll do with a light if we're going upstairs.' 

He lit another lamp, and, with bowed back, led the way 
slowly up the steep and worn stairs and along a tiny passage, 
into a room which did not give on the street but looked out 
on a cobbled yard and a forest of chimney-pots. Winston 
noticed that the furniture was still arranged as though the 

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room were meant to be lived in. There was a strip of car- 
pet on the floor, a picture or two on the walls, and a deep, 
slatternly arm-chair drawn up to the fireplace. An old-fash- 
ioned glass clock with a twelve-hour face was ticking away 
on the mantelpiece. Under the window, and occupying 
nearly a quarter of the room, was an enormous bed with 
the mattress still on it. 

'We lived here till my wife died,' said the old man half 
apologetically. 'I'm selling the furniture off by little and 
little. Now that's a beautiful mahogany bed, or at least it 
would be if you could get the bugs out of it. But I dare say 
you'd find it a little bit cumbersome.' 

He was holding the lamp high up, so as to illuminate the 
whole room, and in the warm dim light the place looked 
curiously inviting. The thought flitted through Winston's 
mind that it would probably be quite easy to rent the room 
for a few dollars a week, if he dared to take the risk. It was a 
wild, impossible notion, to be abandoned as soon as thought 
of; but the room had awakened in him a sort of nostalgia, a 
sort of ancestral memory. It seemed to him that he knew 
exactly what it felt like to sit in a room like this, in an arm- 
chair beside an open fire with your feet in the fender and a 
kettle on the hob; utterly alone, utterly secure, with nobody 
watching you, no voice pursuing you, no sound except the 
singing of the kettle and the friendly ticking of the clock. 

'There's no telescreen!' he could not help murmuring. 

'Ah,' said the old man, 'I never had one of those things. 
Too expensive. And I never seemed to feel the need of it, 
somehow. Now that's a nice gateleg table in the corner there. 


Though of course you'd have to put new hinges on it if you 
wanted to use the flaps.' 

There was a small bookcase in the other corner, and 
Winston had already gravitated towards it. It contained 
nothing but rubbish. The hunting-down and destruction of 
books had been done with the same thoroughness in the 
prole quarters as everywhere else. It was very unlikely that 
there existed anywhere in Oceania a copy of a book printed 
earlier than 1960. The old man, still carrying the lamp, was 
standing in front of a picture in a rosewood frame which 
hung on the other side of the fireplace, opposite the bed. 

'Now, if you happen to be interested in old prints at all — 
— ' he began delicately. 

Winston came across to examine the picture. It was a 
steel engraving of an oval building with rectangular win- 
dows, and a small tower in front. There was a railing 
running round the building, and at the rear end there was 
what appeared to be a statue. Winston gazed at it for some 
moments. It seemed vaguely familiar, though he did not re- 
member the statue. 

'The frame's fixed to the wall,' said the old man, 'but I 
could unscrew it for you, I dare say' 

'I know that building,' said Winston finally 'It's a ruin 
now. It's in the middle of the street outside the Palace of 

"That's right. Outside the Law Courts. It was bombed in — 
oh, many years ago. It was a church at one time, St Clement 
Danes, its name was.' He smiled apologetically, as though 
conscious of saying something slightly ridiculous, and add- 

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ed: 'Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St Clement's!' 

'What's that?' said Winston. 

'Oh — 'Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St Clement's.' 
That was a rhyme we had when I was a little boy. How it goes 
on I don't remember, but I do know it ended up, 'Here comes 
a candle to light you to bed, Here comes a chopper to chop 
off your head.' It was a kind of a dance. They held out their 
arms for you to pass under, and when they came to 'Here 
comes a chopper to chop off your head' they brought their 
arms down and caught you. It was just names of churches. 
All the London churches were in it — all the principal ones, 
that is.' 

Winston wondered vaguely to what century the church 
belonged. It was always difficult to determine the age of a 
London building. Anything large and impressive, if it was 
reasonably new in appearance, was automatically claimed 
as having been built since the Revolution, while anything 
that was obviously of earlier date was ascribed to some dim 
period called the Middle Ages. The centuries of capitalism 
were held to have produced nothing of any value. One could 
not learn history from architecture any more than one 
could learn it from books. Statues, inscriptions, memori- 
al stones, the names of streets — anything that might throw 
light upon the past had been systematically altered. 

'I never knew it had been a church,' he said. 

'There's a lot of them left, really' said the old man, 'though 
they've been put to other uses. Now, how did that rhyme go? 
Ah! I've got it! 

'Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St Clement's, You 


owe me three farthings, say the bells of St Martin's ' 

there, now, that's as far as I can get. A farthing, that was 
a small copper coin, looked something like a cent.' 

'Where was St Martin's?' said Winston. 

'St Martin's? That's still standing. It's in Victory Square, 
alongside the picture gallery. A building with a kind of a tri- 
angular porch and pillars in front, and a big flight of steps.' 

Winston knew the place well. It was a museum used 
for propaganda displays of various kinds — scale models of 
rocket bombs and Floating Fortresses, waxwork tableaux il- 
lustrating enemy atrocities, and the like. 

'St Martin's-in-the-Fields it used to be called,' supple- 
mented the old man, 'though I don't recollect any fields 
anywhere in those parts.' 

Winston did not buy the picture. It would have been an 
even more incongruous possession than the glass paper- 
weight, and impossible to carry home, unless it were taken 
out of its frame. But he lingered for some minutes more, 
talking to the old man, whose name, he discovered, was not 
Weeks — as one might have gathered from the inscription 
over the shop-front — but Charrington. Mr Charrington, it 
seemed, was a widower aged sixty-three and had inhabit- 
ed this shop for thirty years. Throughout that time he had 
been intending to alter the name over the window, but had 
never quite got to the point of doing it. All the while that 
they were talking the half-remembered rhyme kept run- 
ning through Winston's head. Oranges and lemons say the 
bells of St Clement's, You owe me three farthings, say the 
bells of St Martin's! It was curious, but when you said it to 

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yourself you had the illusion of actually hearing bells, the 
bells of a lost London that still existed somewhere or other, 
disguised and forgotten. From one ghostly steeple after an- 
other he seemed to hear them pealing forth. Yet so far as 
he could remember he had never in real life heard church 
bells ringing. 

He got away from Mr Charrington and went down the 
stairs alone, so as not to let the old man see him recon- 
noitring the street before stepping out of the door. He had 
already made up his mind that after a suitable interval — a 
month, say — he would take the risk of visiting the shop 
again. It was perhaps not more dangerous than shirking an 
evening at the Centre. The serious piece of folly had been to 
come back here in the first place, after buying the diary and 
without knowing whether the proprietor of the shop could 
be trusted. However ! 

Yes, he thought again, he would come back. He would 
buy further scraps of beautiful rubbish. He would buy the 
engraving of St Clement Danes, take it out of its frame, and 
carry it home concealed under the jacket of his overalls. He 
would drag the rest of that poem out of Mr Charrington's 
memory. Even the lunatic project of renting the room up- 
stairs flashed momentarily through his mind again. For 
perhaps five seconds exaltation made him careless, and he 
stepped out on to the pavement without so much as a pre- 
liminary glance through the window. He had even started 
humming to an improvised tune 

Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St Clement's, You 
owe me three farthings, say the 


Suddenly his heart seemed to turn to ice and his bow- 
els to water. A figure in blue overalls was coming down 
the pavement, not ten metres away. It was the girl from the 
Fiction Department, the girl with dark hair. The light was 
failing, but there was no difficulty in recognizing her. She 
looked him straight in the face, then walked quickly on as 
though she had not seen him. 

For a few seconds Winston was too paralysed to move. 
Then he turned to the right and walked heavily away, not 
noticing for the moment that he was going in the wrong 
direction. At any rate, one question was settled. There was 
no doubting any longer that the girl was spying on him. She 
must have followed him here, because it was not credible 
that by pure chance she should have happened to be walk- 
ing on the same evening up the same obscure backstreet, 
kilometres distant from any quarter where Party members 
lived. It was too great a coincidence. Whether she was really 
an agent of the Thought Police, or simply an amateur spy 
actuated by officiousness, hardly mattered. It was enough 
that she was watching him. Probably she had seen him go 
into the pub as well. 

It was an effort to walk. The lump of glass in his pocket 
banged against his thigh at each step, and he was half mind- 
ed to take it out and throw it away. The worst thing was the 
pain in his belly. For a couple of minutes he had the feeling 
that he would die if he did not reach a lavatory soon. But 
there would be no public lavatories in a quarter like this. 
Then the spasm passed, leaving a dull ache behind. 

The street was a blind alley. Winston halted, stood 

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for several seconds wondering vaguely what to do, then 
turned round and began to retrace his steps. As he turned 
it occurred to him that the girl had only passed him three 
minutes ago and that by running he could probably catch 
up with her. He could keep on her track till they were in 
some quiet place, and then smash her skull in with a cob- 
blestone. The piece of glass in his pocket would be heavy 
enough for the job. But he abandoned the idea immediately, 
because even the thought of making any physical effort was 
unbearable. He could not run, he could not strike a blow. 
Besides, she was young and lusty and would defend herself. 
He thought also of hurrying to the Community Centre and 
staying there till the place closed, so as to establish a partial 
alibi for the evening. But that too was impossible. A deadly 
lassitude had taken hold of him. All he wanted was to get 
home quickly and then sit down and be quiet. 

It was after twenty-two hours when he got back to the 
flat. The lights would be switched off at the main at twenty- 
three thirty. He went into the kitchen and swallowed nearly 
a teacup ful of Victory Gin. Then he went to the table in the 
alcove, sat down, and took the diary out of the drawer. But 
he did not open it at once. From the telescreen a brassy fe- 
male voice was squalling a patriotic song. He sat staring at 
the marbled cover of the book, trying without success to 
shut the voice out of his consciousness. 

It was at night that they came for you, always at night. The 
proper thing was to kill yourself before they got you. Un- 
doubtedly some people did so. Many of the disappearances 
were actually suicides. But it needed desperate courage to 


kill yourself in a world where firearms, or any quick and 
certain poison, were completely unprocurable. He thought 
with a kind of astonishment of the biological uselessness 
of pain and fear, the treachery of the human body which 
always freezes into inertia at exactly the moment when a 
special effort is needed. He might have silenced the dark- 
haired girl if only he had acted quickly enough: but precisely 
because of the extremity of his danger he had lost the power 
to act. It struck him that in moments of crisis one is nev- 
er fighting against an external enemy, but always against 
one's own body. Even now, in spite of the gin, the dull ache 
in his belly made consecutive thought impossible. And it 
is the same, he perceived, in all seemingly heroic or trag- 
ic situations. On the battlefield, in the torture chamber, on 
a sinking ship, the issues that you are fighting for are al- 
ways forgotten, because the body swells up until it fills the 
universe, and even when you are not paralysed by fright or 
screaming with pain, life is a moment-to-moment struggle 
against hunger or cold or sleeplessness, against a sour stom- 
ach or an aching tooth. 

He opened the diary. It was important to write some- 
thing down. The woman on the telescreen had started a new 
song. Her voice seemed to stick into his brain like jagged 
splinters of glass. He tried to think of O'Brien, for whom, 
or to whom, the diary was written, but instead he began 
thinking of the things that would happen to him after the 
Thought Police took him away. It would not matter if they 
killed you at once. To be killed was what you expected. But 
before death (nobody spoke of such things, yet everybody 

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knew of them) there was the routine of confession that had 
to be gone through: the grovelling on the floor and scream- 
ing for mercy, the crack of broken bones, the smashed teeth, 
and bloody clots of hair. 

Why did you have to endure it, since the end was al- 
ways the same? Why was it not possible to cut a few days 
or weeks out of your life? Nobody ever escaped detection, 
and nobody ever failed to confess. When once you had suc- 
cumbed to thoughtcrime it was certain that by a given date 
you would be dead. Why then did that horror, which altered 
nothing, have to lie embedded in future time? 

He tried with a little more success than before to sum- 
mon up the image of O'Brien. 'We shall meet in the place 
where there is no darkness,' O'Brien had said to him. He 
knew what it meant, or thought he knew. The place where 
there is no darkness was the imagined future, which one 
would never see, but which, by foreknowledge, one could 
mystically share in. But with the voice from the telescreen 
nagging at his ears he could not follow the train of thought 
further. He put a cigarette in his mouth. Half the tobacco 
promptly fell out on to his tongue, a bitter dust which was 
difficult to spit out again. The face of Big Brother swam into 
his mind, displacing that of O'Brien. Just as he had done a 
few days earlier, he slid a coin out of his pocket and looked 
at it. The face gazed up at him, heavy, calm, protecting: but 
what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark moustache? 
Like a leaden knell the words came back at him: 


130 1984 


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Part Two 


Chapter i 

It was the middle of the morning, and Winston had left 
the cubicle to go to the lavatory. 

A solitary figure was coming towards him from the oth- 
er end of the long, brightly- lit corridor. It was the girl with 
dark hair. Four days had gone past since the evening when 
he had run into her outside the junk-shop. As she came 
nearer he saw that her right arm was in a sling, not notice- 
able at a distance because it was of the same colour as her 
overalls. Probably she had crushed her hand while swing- 
ing round one of the big kaleidoscopes on which the plots 
of novels were 'roughed in'. It was a common accident in the 
Fiction Department. 

They were perhaps four metres apart when the girl stum- 
bled and fell almost flat on her face. A sharp cry of pain was 
wrung out of her. She must have fallen right on the injured 
arm. Winston stopped short. The girl had risen to her knees. 
Her face had turned a milky yellow colour against which 
her mouth stood out redder than ever. Her eyes were fixed 
on his, with an appealing expression that looked more like 
fear than pain. 

A curious emotion stirred in Winston's heart. In front of 
him was an enemy who was trying to kill him: in front of 
him, also, was a human creature, in pain and perhaps with 
a broken bone. Already he had instinctively started forward 133 

to help her. In the moment when he had seen her fall on the 
bandaged arm, it had been as though he felt the pain in his 
own body. 

'You're hurt?' he said. 

'It's nothing. My arm. It'll be all right in a second.' 

She spoke as though her heart were fluttering. She had 
certainly turned very pale. 

'You haven't broken anything?' 

'No, I'm all right. It hurt for a moment, that's all.' 

She held out her free hand to him, and he helped her up. 
She had regained some of her colour, and appeared very 
much better. 

'It's nothing,' she repeated shortly. 'I only gave my wrist a 
bit of a bang. Thanks, comrade!' 

And with that she walked on in the direction in which 
she had been going, as briskly as though it had really been 
nothing. The whole incident could not have taken as much 
as half a minute. Not to let one's feelings appear in one's 
face was a habit that had acquired the status of an instinct, 
and in any case they had been standing straight in front of 
a telescreen when the thing happened. Nevertheless it had 
been very difficult not to betray a momentary surprise, for 
in the two or three seconds while he was helping her up 
the girl had slipped something into his hand. There was no 
question that she had done it intentionally. It was some- 
thing small and flat. As he passed through the lavatory door 
he transferred it to his pocket and felt it with the tips of his 
fingers. It was a scrap of paper folded into a square. 

While he stood at the urinal he managed, with a little 


more fingering, to get it unfolded. Obviously there must be 
a message of some kind written on it. For a moment he was 
tempted to take it into one of the water-closets and read it 
at once. But that would be shocking folly, as he well knew. 
There was no place where you could be more certain that 
the telescreens were watched continuously 

He went back to his cubicle, sat down, threw the frag- 
ment of paper casually among the other papers on the desk, 
put on his spectacles and hitched the speakwrite towards 
him. 'Five minutes,' he told himself, 'five minutes at the 
very least!' His heart bumped in his breast with frightening 
loudness. Fortunately the piece of work he was engaged on 
was mere routine, the rectification of a long list of figures, 
not needing close attention. 

Whatever was written on the paper, it must have some 
kind of political meaning. So far as he could see there were 
two possibilities. One, much the more likely, was that the 
girl was an agent of the Thought Police, just as he had feared. 
He did not know why the Thought Police should choose to 
deliver their messages in such a fashion, but perhaps they 
had their reasons. The thing that was written on the paper 
might be a threat, a summons, an order to commit suicide, 
a trap of some description. But there was another, wilder 
possibility that kept raising its head, though he tried vain- 
ly to suppress it. This was, that the message did not come 
from the Thought Police at all, but from some kind of un- 
derground organization. Perhaps the Brotherhood existed 
after all! Perhaps the girl was part of it! No doubt the idea 
was absurd, but it had sprung into his mind in the very in- 

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stant of feeling the scrap of paper in his hand. It was not till 
a couple of minutes later that the other, more probable ex- 
planation had occurred to him. And even now, though his 
intellect told him that the message probably meant death — 
still, that was not what he believed, and the unreasonable 
hope persisted, and his heart banged, and it was with diffi- 
culty that he kept his voice from trembling as he murmured 
his figures into the speakwrite. 

He rolled up the completed bundle of work and slid it 
into the pneumatic tube. Eight minutes had gone by. He re- 
adjusted his spectacles on his nose, sighed, and drew the 
next batch of work towards him, with the scrap of paper on 
top of it. He flattened it out. On it was written, in a large un- 
formed handwriting: 


For several seconds he was too stunned even to throw 
the incriminating thing into the memory hole. When he 
did so, although he knew very well the danger of showing 
too much interest, he could not resist reading it once again, 
just to make sure that the words were really there. 

For the rest of the morning it was very difficult to work. 
What was even worse than having to focus his mind on a 
series of niggling jobs was the need to conceal his agitation 
from the telescreen. He felt as though a fire were burning 
in his belly. Lunch in the hot, crowded, noise-filled canteen 
was torment. He had hoped to be alone for a little while 
during the lunch hour, but as bad luck would have it the 

136 1984 

imbecile Parsons flopped down beside him, the tang of his 
sweat almost defeating the tinny smell of stew, and kept up 
a stream of talk about the preparations for Hate Week. He 
was particularly enthusiastic about a papier-mache model of 
Big Brother's head, two metres wide, which was being made 
for the occasion by his daughter's troop of Spies. The irri- 
tating thing was that in the racket of voices Winston could 
hardly hear what Parsons was saying, and was constantly 
having to ask for some fatuous remark to be repeated. Just 
once he caught a glimpse of the girl, at a table with two oth- 
er girls at the far end of the room. She appeared not to have 
seen him, and he did not look in that direction again. 

The afternoon was morebearable. Immediately after lunch 
there arrived a delicate, difficult piece of work which would 
take several hours and necessitated putting everything else 
aside. It consisted in falsifying a series of production re- 
ports of two years ago, in such a way as to cast discredit on a 
prominent member of the Inner Party, who was now under 
a cloud. This was the kind of thing that Winston was good 
at, and for more than two hours he succeeded in shutting 
the girl out of his mind altogether. Then the memory of her 
face came back, and with it a raging, intolerable desire to 
be alone. Until he could be alone it was impossible to think 
this new development out. Tonight was one of his nights at 
the Community Centre. He wolfed another tasteless meal 
in the canteen, hurried off to the Centre, took part in the 
solemn foolery of a 'discussion group', played two games 
of table tennis, swallowed several glasses of gin, and sat for 
half an hour through a lecture entitled Tngsoc in relation to 

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chess'. His soul writhed with boredom, but for once he had 
had no impulse to shirk his evening at the Centre. At the 
sight of the words I LOVE YOU the desire to stay alive had 
welled up in him, and the taking of minor risks suddenly 
seemed stupid. It was not till twenty-three hours, when he 
was home and in bed — in the darkness, where you were safe 
even from the telescreen so long as you kept silent — that he 
was able to think continuously. 

It was a physical problem that had to be solved: how to 
get in touch with the girl and arrange a meeting. He did 
not consider any longer the possibility that she might be 
laying some kind of trap for him. He knew that it was not 
so, because of her unmistakable agitation when she handed 
him the note. Obviously she had been frightened out of her 
wits, as well she might be. Nor did the idea of refusing her 
advances even cross his mind. Only five nights ago he had 
contemplated smashing her skull in with a cobblestone, but 
that was of no importance. He thought of her naked, youth- 
ful body, as he had seen it in his dream. He had imagined 
her a fool like all the rest of them, her head stuffed with lies 
and hatred, her belly full of ice. A kind of fever seized him at 
the thought that he might lose her, the white youthful body 
might slip away from him! What he feared more than any- 
thing else was that she would simply change her mind if he 
did not get in touch with her quickly. But the physical dif- 
ficulty of meeting was enormous. It was like trying to make 
a move at chess when you were already mated. Whichever 
way you turned, the telescreen faced you. Actually, all the 
possible ways of communicating with her had occurred to 

138 1984 

him within five minutes of reading the note; but now, with 
time to think, he went over them one by one, as though lay- 
ing out a row of instruments on a table. 

Obviously the kind of encounter that had happened this 
morning could not be repeated. If she had worked in the Re- 
cords Department it might have been comparatively simple, 
but he had only a very dim idea whereabouts in the building 
the Fiction Department lay, and he had no pretext for going 
there. If he had known where she lived, and at what time 
she left work, he could have contrived to meet her some- 
where on her way home; but to try to follow her home was 
not safe, because it would mean loitering about outside the 
Ministry, which was bound to be noticed. As for sending 
a letter through the mails, it was out of the question. By 
a routine that was not even secret, all letters were opened 
in transit. Actually, few people ever wrote letters. For the 
messages that it was occasionally necessary to send, there 
were printed postcards with long lists of phrases, and you 
struck out the ones that were inapplicable. In any case he 
did not know the girl's name, let alone her address. Final- 
ly he decided that the safest place was the canteen. If he 
could get her at a table by herself, somewhere in the middle 
of the room, not too near the telescreens, and with a suf- 
ficient buzz of conversation all round — if these conditions 
endured for, say, thirty seconds, it might be possible to ex- 
change a few words. 

For a week after this, life was like a restless dream. On 
the next day she did not appear in the canteen until he 
was leaving it, the whistle having already blown. Presum- 

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ably she had been changed on to a later shift. They passed 
each other without a glance. On the day after that she was 
in the canteen at the usual time, but with three other girls 
and immediately under a telescreen. Then for three dread- 
ful days she did not appear at all. His whole mind and body 
seemed to be afflicted with an unbearable sensitivity, a sort 
of transparency, which made every movement, every sound, 
every contact, every word that he had to speak or listen 
to, an agony. Even in sleep he could not altogether escape 
from her image. He did not touch the diary during those 
days. If there was any relief, it was in his work, in which he 
could sometimes forget himself for ten minutes at a stretch. 
He had absolutely no clue as to what had happened to her. 
There was no enquiry he could make. She might have been 
vaporized, she might have committed suicide, she might 
have been transferred to the other end of Oceania: worst 
and likeliest of all, she might simply have changed her mind 
and decided to avoid him. 

The next day she reappeared. Her arm was out of the sling 
and she had a band of sticking-plaster round her wrist. The 
relief of seeing her was so great that he could not resist star- 
ing directly at her for several seconds. On the following day 
he very nearly succeeded in speaking to her. When he came 
into the canteen she was sitting at a table well out from the 
wall, and was quite alone. It was early, and the place was 
not very full. The queue edged forward till Winston was 
almost at the counter, then was held up for two minutes 
because someone in front was complaining that he had not 
received his tablet of saccharine. But the girl was still alone 


when Winston secured his tray and began to make for her 
table. He walked casually towards her, his eyes searching 
for a place at some table beyond her. She was perhaps three 
metres away from him. Another two seconds would do it. 
Then a voice behind him called, 'Smith!' He pretended not 
to hear. 'Smith!' repeated the voice, more loudly. It was no 
use. He turned round. A blond-headed, silly-faced young 
man named Wilsher, whom he barely knew, was inviting 
him with a smile to a vacant place at his table. It was not 
safe to refuse. After having been recognized, he could not 
go and sit at a table with an unattended girl. It was too no- 
ticeable. He sat down with a friendly smile. The silly blond 
face beamed into his. Winston had a hallucination of him- 
self smashing a pick-axe right into the middle of it. The 
girl's table filled up a few minutes later. 

But she must have seen him coming towards her, and 
perhaps she would take the hint. Next day he took care to 
arrive early. Surely enough, she was at a table in about the 
same place, and again alone. The person immediately ahead 
of him in the queue was a small, swiftly-moving, beetle-like 
man with a flat face and tiny, suspicious eyes. As Winston 
turned away from the counter with his tray, he saw that the 
little man was making straight for the girl's table. His hopes 
sank again. There was a vacant place at a table further away, 
but something in the little man's appearance suggested 
that he would be sufficiently attentive to his own comfort 
to choose the emptiest table. With ice at his heart Winston 
followed. It was no use unless he could get the girl alone. 
At this moment there was a tremendous crash. The little 

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man was sprawling on all fours, his tray had gone flying, 
two streams of soup and coffee were flowing across the floor. 
He started to his feet with a malignant glance at Winston, 
whom he evidently suspected of having tripped him up. But 
it was all right. Five seconds later, with a thundering heart, 
Winston was sitting at the girl's table. 

He did not look at her. He unpacked his tray and prompt- 
ly began eating. It was all-important to speak at once, 
before anyone else came, but now a terrible fear had taken 
possession of him. A week had gone by since she had first 
approached him. She would have changed her mind, she 
must have changed her mind! It was impossible that this af- 
fair should end successfully; such things did not happen in 
real life. He might have flinched altogether from speaking if 
at this moment he had not seen Ampleforth, the hairy-eared 
poet, wandering limply round the room with a tray, look- 
ing for a place to sit down. In his vague way Ampleforth 
was attached to Winston, and would certainly sit down at 
his table if he caught sight of him. There was perhaps a min- 
ute in which to act. Both Winston and the girl were eating 
steadily. The stuff they were eating was a thin stew, actually 
a soup, of haricot beans. In a low murmur Winston began 
speaking. Neither of them looked up; steadily they spooned 
the watery stuff into their mouths, and between spoonfuls 
exchanged the few necessary words in low expressionless 

'What time do you leave work?' 


'Where can we meet?' 


'Victory Square, near the monument.' 

'It's full of telescreens.' 

'It doesn't matter if there's a crowd.' 

'Any signal?' 

'No. Don't come up to me until you see me among a lot 
of people. And don't look at me. Just keep somewhere near 

'What time?' 

'Nineteen hours.' 

All right.' 

Ampleforth failed to see Winston and sat down at an- 
other table. They did not speak again, and, so far as it was 
possible for two people sitting on opposite sides of the same 
table, they did not look at one another. The girl finished her 
lunch quickly and made off, while Winston stayed to smoke 
a cigarette. 

Winston was in Victory Square before the appointed 
time. He wandered round the base of the enormous flut- 
ed column, at the top of which Big Brother's statue gazed 
southward towards the skies where he had vanquished the 
Eurasian aeroplanes (the Eastasian aeroplanes, it had been, 
a few years ago) in the Battle of Airstrip One. In the street 
in front of it there was a statue of a man on horseback which 
was supposed to represent Oliver Cromwell. At five minutes 
past the hour the girl had still not appeared. Again the ter- 
rible fear seized upon Winston. She was not coming, she 
had changed her mind! He walked slowly up to the north 
side of the square and got a sort of pale- coloured pleasure 
from identifying St Martin's Church, whose bells, when it 143 

had bells, had chimed 'You owe me three farthings.' Then 
he saw the girl standing at the base of the monument, read- 
ing or pretending to read a poster which ran spirally up the 
column. It was not safe to go near her until some more peo- 
ple had accumulated. There were telescreens all round the 
pediment. But at this moment there was a din of shouting 
and a zoom of heavy vehicles from somewhere to the left. 
Suddenly everyone seemed to be running across the square. 
The girl nipped nimbly round the lions at the base of the 
monument and joined in the rush. Winston followed. As he 
ran, he gathered from some shouted remarks that a convoy 
of Eurasian prisoners was passing. 

Already a dense mass of people was blocking the south 
side of the square. Winston, at normal times the kind of 
person who gravitates to the outer edge of any kind of 
scrimmage, shoved, butted, squirmed his way forward into 
the heart of the crowd. Soon he was within arm's length of 
the girl, but the way was blocked by an enormous prole and 
an almost equally enormous woman, presumably his wife, 
who seemed to form an impenetrable wall of flesh. Winston 
wriggled himself sideways, and with a violent lunge man- 
aged to drive his shoulder between them. For a moment it 
felt as though his entrails were being ground to pulp be- 
tween the two muscular hips, then he had broken through, 
sweating a little. He was next to the girl. They were shoulder 
to shoulder, both staring fixedly in front of them. 

A long line of trucks, with wooden-faced guards armed 
with sub -machine guns standing upright in each corner, was 
passing slowly down the street. In the trucks little yellow 


men in shabby greenish uniforms were squatting, jammed 
close together. Their sad, Mongolian faces gazed out over 
the sides of the trucks utterly incurious. Occasionally when 
a truck jolted there was a clank-clank of metal: all the pris- 
oners were wearing leg-irons. Truck-load after truck-load of 
the sad faces passed. Winston knew they were there but he 
saw them only intermittently. The girl's shoulder, and her 
arm right down to the elbow, were pressed against his. Her 
cheek was almost near enough for him to feel its warmth. 
She had immediately taken charge of the situation, just as 
she had done in the canteen. She began speaking in the 
same expressionless voice as before, with lips barely mov- 
ing, a mere murmur easily drowned by the din of voices and 
the rumbling of the trucks. 

'Can you hear me?' 


'Can you get Sunday afternoon off?' 


'Then listen carefully. You'll have to remember this. Go 
to Paddington Station ' 

With a sort of military precision that astonished him, she 
outlined the route that he was to follow. A half-hour railway 
journey; turn left outside the station; two kilometres along 
the road; a gate with the top bar missing; a path across a 
field; a grass-grown lane; a track between bushes; a dead 
tree with moss on it. It was as though she had a map inside 
her head. 'Can you remember all that?' she murmured fi- 


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'You turn left, then right, then left again. And the gate's 
got no top bar.' 

'Yes. What time?' 

'About fifteen. You may have to wait. I'll get there by an- 
other way. Are you sure you remember everything?' 


"Then get away from me as quick as you can.' 

She need not have told him that. But for the moment 
they could not extricate themselves from the crowd. The 
trucks were still filing past, the people still insatiably gap- 
ing. At the start there had been a few boos and hisses, but 
it came only from the Party members among the crowd, 
and had soon stopped. The prevailing emotion was simply 
curiosity. Foreigners, whether from Eurasia or from Easta- 
sia, were a kind of strange animal. One literally never saw 
them except in the guise of prisoners, and even as prison- 
ers one never got more than a momentary glimpse of them. 
Nor did one know what became of them, apart from the 
few who were hanged as war- criminals: the others simply 
vanished, presumably into forced-labour camps. The round 
Mogol faces had given way to faces of a more European type, 
dirty, bearded and exhausted. From over scrubby cheek- 
bones eyes looked into Winston's, sometimes with strange 
intensity, and flashed away again. The convoy was drawing 
to an end. In the last truck he could see an aged man, his 
face a mass of grizzled hair, standing upright with wrists 
crossed in front of him, as though he were used to having 
them bound together. It was almost time for Winston and 
the girl to part. But at the last moment, while the crowd still 

146 1984 

hemmed them in, her hand felt for his and gave it a fleeting 

It could not have been ten seconds, and yet it seemed a 
long time that their hands were clasped together. He had 
time to learn every detail of her hand. He explored the long 
fingers, the shapely nails, the work-hardened palm with its 
row of callouses, the smooth flesh under the wrist. Merely 
from feeling it he would have known it by sight. In the same 
instant it occurred to him that he did not know what colour 
the girl's eyes were. They were probably brown, but people 
with dark hair sometimes had blue eyes. To turn his head 
and look at her would have been inconceivable folly. With 
hands locked together, invisible among the press of bodies, 
they stared steadily in front of them, and instead of the eyes 
of the girl, the eyes of the aged prisoner gazed mournfully 
at Winston out of nests of hair. 

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Chapter 2 

Winston picked his way up the lane through dappled 
light and shade, stepping out into pools of gold wher- 
ever the boughs parted. Under the trees to the left of him 
the ground was misty with bluebells. The air seemed to kiss 
one's skin. It was the second of May. From somewhere deep- 
er in the heart of the wood came the droning of ring doves. 
He was a bit early. There had been no difficulties about 
the journey, and the girl was so evidently experienced that 
he was less frightened than he would normally have been. 
Presumably she could be trusted to find a safe place. In 
general you could not assume that you were much safer in 
the country than in London. There were no telescreens, of 
course, but there was always the danger of concealed mi- 
crophones by which your voice might be picked up and 
recognized; besides, it was not easy to make a journey by 
yourself without attracting attention. For distances of less 
than 100 kilometres it was not necessary to get your pass- 
port endorsed, but sometimes there were patrols hanging 
about the railway stations, who examined the papers of any 
Party member they found there and asked awkward ques- 
tions. However, no patrols had appeared, and on the walk 
from the station he had made sure by cautious backward 
glances that he was not being followed. The train was full 
of proles, in holiday mood because of the summery weather. 

148 1984 

The wooden-seated carriage in which he travelled was filled 
to overflowing by a single enormous family, ranging from 
a toothless great-grandmother to a month-old baby, going 
out to spend an afternoon with 'in-laws' in the country, and, 
as they freely explained to Winston, to get hold of a little 
blackmarket butter. 

The lane widened, and in a minute he came to the foot- 
path she had told him of, a mere cattle-track which plunged 
between the bushes. He had no watch, but it could not be 
fifteen yet. The bluebells were so thick underfoot that it was 
impossible not to tread on them. He knelt down and began 
picking some partly to pass the time away, but also from 
a vague idea that he would like to have a bunch of flowers 
to offer to the girl when they met. He had got together a 
big bunch and was smelling their faint sickly scent when a 
sound at his back froze him, the unmistakable crackle of a 
foot on twigs. He went on picking bluebells. It was the best 
thing to do. It might be the girl, or he might have been fol- 
lowed after all. To look round was to show guilt. He picked 
another and another. A hand fell lightly on his shoulder. 

He looked up. It was the girl. She shook her head, evi- 
dently as a warning that he must keep silent, then parted 
the bushes and quickly led the way along the narrow track 
into the wood. Obviously she had been that way before, for 
she dodged the boggy bits as though by habit. Winston fol- 
lowed, still clasping his bunch of flowers. His first feeling 
was relief, but as he watched the strong slender body mov- 
ing in front of him, with the scarlet sash that was just tight 
enough to bring out the curve of her hips, the sense of his 

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own inferiority was heavy upon him. Even now it seemed 
quite likely that when she turned round and looked at him 
she would draw back after all. The sweetness of the air and 
the greenness of the leaves daunted him. Already on the 
walk from the station the May sunshine had made him feel 
dirty and etiolated, a creature of indoors, with the sooty 
dust of London in the pores of his skin. It occurred to him 
that till now she had probably never seen him in broad day- 
light in the open. They came to the fallen tree that she had 
spoken of. The girl hopped over and forced apart the bush- 
es, in which there did not seem to be an opening. When 
Winston followed her, he found that they were in a natural 
clearing, a tiny grassy knoll surrounded by tall saplings that 
shut it in completely. The girl stopped and turned. 

'Here we are,' she said. 

He was facing her at several paces' distance. As yet he did 
not dare move nearer to her. 

T didn't want to say anything in the lane,' she went on, 
'in case there's a mike hidden there. I don't suppose there is, 
but there could be. There's always the chance of one of those 
swine recognizing your voice. We're all right here.' 

He still had not the courage to approach her. 'We're all 
right here?' he repeated stupidly. 

'Yes. Look at the trees.' They were small ashes, which at 
some time had been cut down and had sprouted up again 
into a forest of poles, none of them thicker than one's wrist. 
'There's nothing big enough to hide a mike in. Besides, I've 
been here before.' 

They were only making conversation. He had managed 


to move closer to her now. She stood before him very up- 
right, with a smile on her face that looked faintly ironical, as 
though she were wondering why he was so slow to act. The 
bluebells had cascaded on to the ground. They seemed to 
have fallen of their own accord. He took her hand. 

'Would you believe,' he said, 'that till this moment I 
didn't know what colour your eyes were?' They were brown, 
he noted, a rather light shade of brown, with dark lashes. 
'Now that you've seen what I'm really like, can you still bear 
to look at me?' 

'Yes, easily' 

'I'm thirty-nine years old. I've got a wife that I can't get 
rid of. I've got varicose veins. I've got five false teeth.' 

T couldn't care less,' said the girl. 

The next moment, it was hard to say by whose act, she was 
in his his arms. At the beginning he had no feeling except 
sheer incredulity. The youthful body was strained against 
his own, the mass of dark hair was against his face, and yes! 
actually she had turned her face up and he was kissing the 
wide red mouth. She had clasped her arms about his neck, 
she was calling him darling, precious one, loved one. He 
had pulled her down on to the ground, she was utterly un- 
resisting, he could do what he liked with her. But the truth 
was that he had no physical sensation, except that of mere 
contact. All he felt was incredulity and pride. He was glad 
that this was happening, but he had no physical desire. It 
was too soon, her youth and prettiness had frightened him, 
he was too much used to living without women — he did 
not know the reason. The girl picked herself up and pulled 151 

a bluebell out of her hair. She sat against him, putting her 
arm round his waist. 

'Never mind, dear. There's no hurry. We've got the whole 
afternoon. Isn't this a splendid hide-out? I found it when I 
got lost once on a community hike. If anyone was coming 
you could hear them a hundred metres away' 

'What is your name?' said Winston. 

'Julia. I know yours. It's Winston — Winston Smith.' 

'How did you find that out?' 

'I expect I'm better at finding things out than you are, 
dear. Tell me, what did you think of me before that day I 
gave you the note?' 

He did not feel any temptation to tell lies to her. It was 
even a sort of love-offering to start off by telling the worst. 

'I hated the sight of you,' he said. 'I wanted to rape you 
and then murder you afterwards. Two weeks ago I thought 
seriously of smashing your head in with a cobblestone. If 
you really want to know, I imagined that you had some- 
thing to do with the Thought Police.' 

The girl laughed delightedly, evidently taking this as a 
tribute to the excellence of her disguise. 

'Not the Thought Police! You didn't honestly think that?' 

'Well, perhaps not exactly that. But from your general 
appearance — merely because you're young and fresh and 
healthy, you understand — I thought that probably ' 

'You thought I was a good Party member. Pure in word 
and deed. Banners, processions, slogans, games, commu- 
nity hikes all that stuff. And you thought that if I had a 
quarter of a chance I'd denounce you as a thought- criminal 


and get you killed off?' 

'Yes, something of that kind. A great many young girls 
are like that, you know.' 

'It's this bloody thing that does it,' she said, ripping off 
the scarlet sash of the Junior Anti-Sex League and flinging 
it on to a bough. Then, as though touching her waist had 
reminded her of something, she felt in the pocket of her 
overalls and produced a small slab of chocolate. She broke 
it in half and gave one of the pieces to Winston. Even be- 
fore he had taken it he knew by the smell that it was very 
unusual chocolate. It was dark and shiny, and was wrapped 
in silver paper. Chocolate normally was dull-brown crum- 
bly stuff that tasted, as nearly as one could describe it, like 
the smoke of a rubbish fire. But at some time or another he 
had tasted chocolate like the piece she had given him. The 
first whiff of its scent had stirred up some memory which 
he could not pin down, but which was powerful and trou- 

'Where did you get this stuff?' he said. 

'Black market,' she said indifferently. Actually I am that 
sort of girl, to look at. I'm good at games. I was a troop -lead- 
er in the Spies. I do voluntary work three evenings a week 
for the Junior Anti-Sex League. Hours and hours I've spent 
pasting their bloody rot all over London. I always carry one 
end of a banner in the processions. I always look cheer- 
ful and I never shirk anything. Always yell with the crowd, 
that's what I say. It's the only way to be safe.' 

The first fragment of chocolate had melted on Win- 
ston's tongue. The taste was delightful. But there was still 

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that memory moving round the edges of his consciousness, 
something strongly felt but not reducible to definite shape, 
like an object seen out of the corner of one's eye. He pushed 
it away from him, aware only that it was the memory of 
some action which he would have liked to undo but could 

'You are very young,' he said. 'You are ten or fifteen years 
younger than I am. What could you see to attract you in a 
man like me?' 

'It was something in your face. I thought I'd take a chance. 
I'm good at spotting people who don't belong. As soon as I 
saw you I knew you were against THEM.' 

THEM, it appeared, meant the Party, and above all the 
Inner Party, about whom she talked with an open jeering 
hatred which made Winston feel uneasy, although he knew 
that they were safe here if they could be safe anywhere. A 
thing that astonished him about her was the coarseness of 
her language. Party members were supposed not to swear, 
and Winston himself very seldom did swear, aloud, at any 
rate. Julia, however, seemed unable to mention the Party, 
and especially the Inner Party, without using the kind of 
words that you saw chalked up in dripping alley-ways. He 
did not dislike it. It was merely one symptom of her revolt 
against the Party and all its ways, and somehow it seemed 
natural and healthy, like the sneeze of a horse that smells 
bad hay. They had left the clearing and were wandering 
again through the chequered shade, with their arms round 
each other's waists whenever it was wide enough to walk 
two abreast. He noticed how much softer her waist seemed 


to feel now that the sash was gone. They did not speak above 
a whisper. Outside the clearing, Julia said, it was better to 
go quietly. Presently they had reached the edge of the little 
wood. She stopped him. 

'Don't go out into the open. There might be someone 
watching. We're all right if we keep behind the boughs.' 

They were standing in the shade of hazel bushes. The 
sunlight, filtering through innumerable leaves, was still hot 
on their faces. Winston looked out into the field beyond, 
and underwent a curious, slow shock of recognition. He 
knew it by sight. An old, closebitten pasture, with a foot- 
path wandering across it and a molehill here and there. In 
the ragged hedge on the opposite side the boughs of the elm 
trees swayed just perceptibly in the breeze, and their leaves 
stirred faintly in dense masses like women's hair. Surely 
somewhere nearby, but out of sight, there must be a stream 
with green pools where dace were swimming? 

'Isn't there a stream somewhere near here?' he whis- 

"That's right, there is a stream. It's at the edge of the next 
field, actually. There are fish in it, great big ones. You can 
watch them lying in the pools under the willow trees, wav- 
ing their tails.' 

'It's the Golden Country — almost,' he murmured. 

'The Golden Country?' 

'It's nothing, really. A landscape I've seen sometimes in 
a dream.' 

'Look!' whispered Julia. 

A thrush had alighted on a bough not five metres away, 

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almost at the level of their faces. Perhaps it had not seen 
them. It was in the sun, they in the shade. It spread out its 
wings, fitted them carefully into place again, ducked its 
head for a moment, as though making a sort of obeisance to 
the sun, and then began to pour forth a torrent of song. In 
the afternoon hush the volume of sound was startling. Win- 
ston and Julia clung together, fascinated. The music went on 
and on, minute after minute, with astonishing variations, 
never once repeating itself, almost as though the bird were 
deliberately showing off its virtuosity. Sometimes it stopped 
for a few seconds, spread out and resettled its wings, then 
swelled its speckled breast and again burst into song. Win- 
ston watched it with a sort of vague reverence. For whom, for 
what, was that bird singing? No mate, no rival was watch- 
ing it. What made it sit at the edge of the lonely wood and 
pour its music into nothingness? He wondered whether af- 
ter all there was a microphone hidden somewhere near. He 
and Julia had spoken only in low whispers, and it would not 
pick up what they had said, but it would pick up the thrush. 
Perhaps at the other end of the instrument some small, bee- 
tle-like man was listening intently — listening to that. But 
by degrees the flood of music drove all speculations out of 
his mind. It was as though it were a kind of liquid stuff that 
poured all over him and got mixed up with the sunlight 
that filtered through the leaves. He stopped thinking and 
merely felt. The girl's waist in the bend of his arm was soft 
and warm. He pulled her round so that they were breast 
to breast; her body seemed to melt into his. Wherever his 
hands moved it was all as yielding as water. Their mouths 

156 1984 

clung together; it was quite different from the hard kisses 
they had exchanged earlier. When they moved their faces 
apart again both of them sighed deeply. The bird took fright 
and fled with a clatter of wings. 

Winston put his lips against her ear. 'NOW,' he whis- 

'Not here,' she whispered back. 'Come back to the hide- 
out. It's safer.' 

Quickly, with an occasional crackle of twigs, they 
threaded their way back to the clearing. When they were 
once inside the ring of saplings she turned and faced him. 
They were both breathing fast, but the smile had reappeared 
round the corners of her mouth. She stood looking at him 
for an instant, then felt at the zipper of her overalls. And, 
yes! it was almost as in his dream. Almost as swiftly as he 
had imagined it, she had torn her clothes off, and when she 
flung them aside it was with that same magnificent gesture 
by which a whole civilization seemed to be annihilated. Her 
body gleamed white in the sun. But for a moment he did 
not look at her body; his eyes were anchored by the freckled 
face with its faint, bold smile. He knelt down before her and 
took her hands in his. 

'Have you done this before?' 

'Of course. Hundreds of times — well, scores of times, 

'With Party members?' 

'Yes, always with Party members.' 

'With members of the Inner Party?' 

'Not with those swine, no. But there's plenty that WOULD 

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if they got half a chance. They're not so holy as they make 

His heart leapt. Scores of times she had done it: he wished 
it had been hundreds — thousands. Anything that hinted at 
corruption always filled him with a wild hope. Who knew, 
perhaps the Party was rotten under the surface, its cult of 
strenuousness and self-denial simply a sham concealing in- 
iquity. If he could have infected the whole lot of them with 
leprosy or syphilis, how gladly he would have done so! Any- 
thing to rot, to weaken, to undermine! He pulled her down 
so that they were kneeling face to face. 

'Listen. The more men you've had, the more I love you. 
Do you understand that?' 

'Yes, perfectly' 

'I hate purity, I hate goodness! I don't want any virtue 
to exist anywhere. I want everyone to be corrupt to the 

'Well then, I ought to suit you, dear. I'm corrupt to the 

'You like doing this? I don't mean simply me: I mean the 
thing in itself?' 

'I adore it.' 

That was above all what he wanted to hear. Not merely 
the love of one person but the animal instinct, the simple 
undifferentiated desire: that was the force that would tear 
the Party to pieces. He pressed her down upon the grass, 
among the fallen bluebells. This time there was no difficul- 
ty Presently the rising and falling of their breasts slowed 
to normal speed, and in a sort of pleasant helplessness they 


fell apart. The sun seemed to have grown hotter. They were 
both sleepy. He reached out for the discarded overalls and 
pulled them partly over her. Almost immediately they fell 
asleep and slept for about half an hour. 

Winston woke first. He sat up and watched the freck- 
led face, still peacefully asleep, pillowed on the palm of her 
hand. Except for her mouth, you could not call her beauti- 
ful. There was a line or two round the eyes, if you looked 
closely. The short dark hair was extraordinarily thick and 
soft. It occurred to him that he still did not know her sur- 
name or where she lived. 

The young, strong body, now helpless in sleep, awoke in 
him a pitying, protecting feeling. But the mindless tender- 
ness that he had felt under the hazel tree, while the thrush 
was singing, had not quite come back. He pulled the over- 
alls aside and studied her smooth white flank. In the old 
days, he thought, a man looked at a girl's body and saw that 
it was desirable, and that was the end of the story. But you 
could not have pure love or pure lust nowadays. No emo- 
tion was pure, because everything was mixed up with fear 
and hatred. Their embrace had been a battle, the climax a 
victory. It was a blow struck against the Party. It was a po- 
litical act. 

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Chapter 3 

^ We can come here once again,' said Julia. 'It's generally safe 
to use any hide-out twice. But not for another month or 
two, of course.' 

As soon as she woke up her demeanour had changed. She 
became alert and business-like, put her clothes on, knot- 
ted the scarlet sash about her waist, and began arranging 
the details of the journey home. It seemed natural to leave 
this to her. She obviously had a practical cunning which 
Winston lacked, and she seemed also to have an exhaus- 
tive knowledge of the countryside round London, stored 
away from innumerable community hikes. The route she 
gave him was quite different from the one by which he had 
come, and brought him out at a different railway station. 
'Never go home the same way as you went out,' she said, as 
though enunciating an important general principle. She 
would leave first, and Winston was to wait half an hour be- 
fore following her. 

She had named a place where they could meet after work, 
four evenings hence. It was a street in one of the poorer 
quarters, where there was an open market which was gener- 
ally crowded and noisy. She would be hanging about among 
the stalls, pretending to be in search of shoelaces or sewing- 
thread. If she judged that the coast was clear she would blow 
her nose when he approached; otherwise he was to walk 


past her without recognition. But with luck, in the middle 
of the crowd, it would be safe to talk for a quarter of an hour 
and arrange another meeting. 

'And now I must go,' she said as soon as he had mastered 
his instructions. 'I'm due back at nineteen-thirty. I've got to 
put in two hours for the Junior Anti-Sex League, handing 
out leaflets, or something. Isn't it bloody? Give me a brush- 
down, would you? Have I got any twigs in my hair? Are you 
sure? Then good-bye, my love, good-bye!' 

She flung herself into his arms, kissed him almost vi- 
olently, and a moment later pushed her way through the 
saplings and disappeared into the wood with very little 
noise. Even now he had not found out her surname or her 
address. However, it made no difference, for it was incon- 
ceivable that they could ever meet indoors or exchange any 
kind of written communication. 

As it happened, they never went back to the clearing in 
the wood. During the month of May there was only one 
further occasion on which they actually succeeded in mak- 
ing love. That was in another hiding-place known to Julia, 
the belfry of a ruinous church in an almost- deserted stretch 
of country where an atomic bomb had fallen thirty years 
earlier. It was a good hiding-place when once you got there, 
but the getting there was very dangerous. For the rest they 
could meet only in the streets, in a different place every eve- 
ning and never for more than half an hour at a time. In the 
street it was usually possible to talk, after a fashion. As they 
drifted down the crowded pavements, not quite abreast 
and never looking at one another, they carried on a curi- 

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ous, intermittent conversation which flicked on and off like 
the beams of a lighthouse, suddenly nipped into silence by 
the approach of a Party uniform or the proximity of a tele- 
screen, then taken up again minutes later in the middle of 
a sentence, then abruptly cut short as they parted at the 
agreed spot, then continued almost without introduction 
on the following day Julia appeared to be quite used to this 
kind of conversation, which she called 'talking by instal- 
ments'. She was also surprisingly adept at speaking without 
moving her lips. Just once in almost a month of nightly 
meetings they managed to exchange a kiss. They were pass- 
ing in silence down a side-street (Julia would never speak 
when they were away from the main streets) when there was 
a deafening roar, the earth heaved, and the air darkened, 
and Winston found himself lying on his side, bruised and 
terrified. A rocket bomb must have dropped quite near at 
hand. Suddenly he became aware of Julia's face a few centi- 
metres from his own, deathly white, as white as chalk. Even 
her lips were white. She was dead! He clasped her against 
him and found that he was kissing a live warm face. But 
there was some powdery stuff that got in the way of his lips. 
Both of their faces were thickly coated with plaster. 

There were evenings when they reached their rendezvous 
and then had to walk past one another without a sign, be- 
cause a patrol had just come round the corner or a helicopter 
was hovering overhead. Even if it had been less dangerous, 
it would still have been difficult to find time to meet. Win- 
ston's working week was sixty hours, Julia's was even longer, 
and their free days varied according to the pressure of work 


and did not often coincide. Julia, in any case, seldom had an 
evening completely free. She spent an astonishing amount 
of time in attending lectures and demonstrations, distrib- 
uting literature for the junior Anti-Sex League, preparing 
banners for Hate Week, making collections for the savings 
campaign, and such-like activities. It paid, she said, it was 
camouflage. If you kept the small rules, you could break the 
big ones. She even induced Winston to mortgage yet an- 
other of his evenings by enrolling himself for the part-time 
munition work which was done voluntarily by zealous Par- 
ty members. So, one evening every week, Winston spent 
four hours of paralysing boredom, screwing together small 
bits of metal which were probably parts of bomb fuses, in a 
draughty, ill-lit workshop where the knocking of hammers 
mingled drearily with the music of the telescreens. 

When they met in the church tower the gaps in their 
fragmentary conversation were filled up. It was a blazing af- 
ternoon. The air in the little square chamber above the bells 
was hot and stagnant, and smelt overpoweringly of pigeon 
dung. They sat talking for hours on the dusty, twig-littered 
floor, one or other of them getting up from time to time to 
cast a glance through the arrowslits and make sure that no 
one was coming. 

Julia was twenty- six years old. She lived in a hostel with 
thirty other girls ('Always in the stink of women! How I 
hate women!' she said parenthetically), and she worked, as 
he had guessed, on the novel-writing machines in the Fic- 
tion Department. She enjoyed her work, which consisted 
chiefly in running and servicing a powerful but tricky elec- 163 

trie motor. She was 'not clever', but was fond of using her 
hands and felt at home with machinery. She could describe 
the whole process of composing a novel, from the general 
directive issued by the Planning Committee down to the 
final touching-up by the Rewrite Squad. But she was not in- 
terested in the finished product. She 'didn't much care for 
reading,' she said. Books were just a commodity that had to 
be produced, like jam or bootlaces. 

She had no memories of anything before the early six- 
ties and the only person she had ever known who talked 
frequently of the days before the Revolution was a grand- 
father who had disappeared when she was eight. At school 
she had been captain of the hockey team and had won the 
gymnastics trophy two years running. She had been a troop- 
leader in the Spies and a branch secretary in the Youth 
League before joining the Junior Anti-Sex League. She had 
always borne an excellent character. She had even (an infal- 
lible mark of good reputation) been picked out to work in 
Pornosec, the sub-section of the Fiction Department which 
turned out cheap pornography for distribution among the 
proles. It was nicknamed Muck House by the people who 
worked in it, she remarked. There she had remained for a 
year, helping to produce booklets in sealed packets with ti- 
tles like 'Spanking Stories' or 'One Night in a Girls' School', 
to be bought furtively by proletarian youths who were un- 
der the impression that they were buying something illegal. 

'What are these books like?' said Winston curiously. 

'Oh, ghastly rubbish. They're boring, really. They only 
have six plots, but they swap them round a bit. Of course 

164 1984 

I was only on the kaleidoscopes. I was never in the Rewrite 
Squad. I'm not literary, dear — not even enough for that.' 

He learned with astonishment that all the workers in 
Pornosec, except the heads of the departments, were girls. 
The theory was that men, whose sex instincts were less con- 
trollable than those of women, were in greater danger of 
being corrupted by the filth they handled. 

"They don't even like having married women there,' she 
added. Girls are always supposed to be so pure. Here's one 
who isn't, anyway. 

She had had her first love-affair when she was sixteen, 
with a Party member of sixty who later committed suicide 
to avoid arrest. 'And a good job too,' said Julia, 'otherwise 
they'd have had my name out of him when he confessed.' 
Since then there had been various others. Life as she saw it 
was quite simple. You wanted a good time; 'they', meaning 
the Party, wanted to stop you having it; you broke the rules 
as best you could. She seemed to think it just as natural that 
'they' should want to rob you of your pleasures as that you 
should want to avoid being caught. She hated the Party, and 
said so in the crudest words, but she made no general criti- 
cism of it. Except where it touched upon her own life she 
had no interest in Party doctrine. He noticed that she never 
used Newspeak words except the ones that had passed into 
everyday use. She had never heard of the Brotherhood, and 
refused to believe in its existence. Any kind of organized 
revolt against the Party, which was bound to be a failure, 
struck her as stupid. The clever thing was to break the rules 
and stay alive all the same. He wondered vaguely how many 165 

others like her there might be in the younger generation 
people who had grown up in the world of the Revolution, 
knowing nothing else, accepting the Party as something 
unalterable, like the sky, not rebelling against its authority 
but simply evading it, as a rabbit dodges a dog. 

They did not discuss the possibility of getting married. 
It was too remote to be worth thinking about. No imagin- 
able committee would ever sanction such a marriage even 
if Katharine, Winston's wife, could somehow have been got 
rid of. It was hopeless even as a daydream. 

'What was she like, your wife?' said Julia. 

'She was — do you know the Newspeak word GOOD- 
THINKFUL? Meaning naturally orthodox, incapable of 
thinking a bad thought?' 

'No, I didn't know the word, but I know the kind of per- 
son, right enough.' 

He began telling her the story of his married life, but cu- 
riously enough she appeared to know the essential parts of 
it already. She described to him, almost as though she had 
seen or felt it, the stiffening of Katharine's body as soon 
as he touched her, the way in which she still seemed to be 
pushing him from her with all her strength, even when her 
arms were clasped tightly round him. With Julia he felt no 
difficulty in talking about such things: Katharine, in any 
case, had long ceased to be a painful memory and became 
merely a distasteful one. 

'I could have stood it if it hadn't been for one thing,' he 
said. He told her about the frigid little ceremony that Kath- 
arine had forced him to go through on the same night every 


week. 'She hated it, but nothing would make her stop doing 
it. She used to call it — but you'll never guess.' 

'Our duty to the Party' said Julia promptly. 

'How did you know that?' 

'I've been at school too, dear. Sex talks once a month for 
the over-sixteens. And in the Youth Movement. They rub it 
into you for years. I dare say it works in a lot of cases. But of 
course you can never tell; people are such hypocrites.' 

She began to enlarge upon the subject. With Julia, every- 
thing came back to her own sexuality. As soon as this was 
touched upon in any way she was capable of great acuteness. 
Unlike Winston, she had grasped the inner meaning of the 
Party's sexual puritanism. It was not merely that the sex 
instinct created a world of its own which was outside the 
Party's control and which therefore had to be destroyed if 
possible. What was more important was that sexual priva- 
tion induced hysteria, which was desirable because it could 
be transformed into war-fever and leader-worship. The way 
she put it was: 

'When you make love you're using up energy; and after- 
wards you feel happy and don't give a damn for anything. 
They can't bear you to feel like that. They want you to be 
bursting with energy all the time. All this marching up and 
down and cheering and waving flags is simply sex gone sour. 
If you're happy inside yourself, why should you get excited 
about Big Brother and the Three-Year Plans and the Two 
Minutes Hate and all the rest of their bloody rot?' 

That was very true, he thought. There was a direct inti- 
mate connexion between chastity and political orthodoxy. 167 

For how could the fear, the hatred, and the lunatic credulity 
which the Party needed in its members be kept at the right 
pitch, except by bottling down some powerful instinct and 
using it as a driving force? The sex impulse was dangerous to 
the Party, and the Party had turned it to account. They had 
played a similar trick with the instinct of parenthood. The 
family could not actually be abolished, and, indeed, people 
were encouraged to be fond of their children, in almost the 
old-fashioned way. The children, on the other hand, were 
systematically turned against their parents and taught to 
spy on them and report their deviations. The family had 
become in effect an extension of the Thought Police. It was 
a device by means of which everyone could be surrounded 
night and day by informers who knew him intimately. 

Abruptly his mind went back to Katharine. Katharine 
would unquestionably have denounced him to the Thought 
Police if she had not happened to be too stupid to detect the 
unorthodoxy of his opinions. But what really recalled her 
to him at this moment was the stifling heat of the afternoon, 
which had brought the sweat out on his forehead. He began 
telling Julia of something that had happened, or rather had 
failed to happen, on another sweltering summer afternoon, 
eleven years ago. 

It was three or four months after they were married. They 
had lost their way on a community hike somewhere in Kent. 
They had only lagged behind the others for a couple of min- 
utes, but they took a wrong turning, and presently found 
themselves pulled up short by the edge of an old chalk 
quarry. It was a sheer drop of ten or twenty metres, with 


boulders at the bottom. There was nobody of whom they 
could ask the way As soon as she realized that they were 
lost Katharine became very uneasy To be away from the 
noisy mob of hikers even for a moment gave her a feeling of 
wrong-doing. She wanted to hurry back by the way they had 
come and start searching in the other direction. But at this 
moment Winston noticed some tufts of loosestrife growing 
in the cracks of the cliff beneath them. One tuft was of two 
colours, magenta and brick-red, apparently growing on the 
same root. He had never seen anything of the kind before, 
and he called to Katharine to come and look at it. 

'Look, Katharine! Look at those flowers. That clump 
down near the bottom. Do you see they're two different co- 

She had already turned to go, but she did rather fretfully 
come back for a moment. She even leaned out over the cliff 
face to see where he was pointing. He was standing a little 
behind her, and he put his hand on her waist to steady her. 
At this moment it suddenly occurred to him how completely 
alone they were. There was not a human creature anywhere, 
not a leaf stirring, not even a bird awake. In a place like 
this the danger that there would be a hidden microphone 
was very small, and even if there was a microphone it would 
only pick up sounds. It was the hottest sleepiest hour of the 
afternoon. The sun blazed down upon them, the sweat tick- 
led his face. And the thought struck him... 

'Why didn't you give her a good shove?' said Julia. 'I 
would have.' 

'Yes, dear, you would have. I would, if I'd been the same 169 

person then as I am now. Or perhaps I would — I'm not cer- 

'Are you sorry you didn't?' 

'Yes. On the whole I'm sorry I didn't.' 

They were sitting side by side on the dusty floor. He 
pulled her closer against him. Her head rested on his shoul- 
der, the pleasant smell of her hair conquering the pigeon 
dung. She was very young, he thought, she still expected 
something from life, she did not understand that to push an 
inconvenient person over a cliff solves nothing. 

'Actually it would have made no difference,' he said. 

"Then why are you sorry you didn't do it?' 

'Only because I prefer a positive to a negative. In this 
game that we're playing, we can't win. Some kinds of failure 
are better than other kinds, that's all.' 

He felt her shoulders give a wriggle of dissent. She al- 
ways contradicted him when he said anything of this kind. 
She would not accept it as a law of nature that the individ- 
ual is always defeated. In a way she realized that she herself 
was doomed, that sooner or later the Thought Police would 
catch her and kill her, but with another part of her mind 
she believed that it was somehow possible to construct a se- 
cret world in which you could live as you chose. All you 
needed was luck and cunning and boldness. She did not un- 
derstand that there was no such thing as happiness, that the 
only victory lay in the far future, long after you were dead, 
that from the moment of declaring war on the Party it was 
better to think of yourself as a corpse. 

'We are the dead,' he said. 


'We're not dead yet,' said Julia prosaically. 

'Not physically Six months, a year — five years, conceiv- 
ably. I am afraid of death. You are young, so presumably 
you're more afraid of it than I am. Obviously we shall put it 
off as long as we can. But it makes very little difference. So 
long as human beings stay human, death and life are the 
same thing.' 

'Oh, rubbish! Which would you sooner sleep with, me or 
a skeleton? Don't you enjoy being alive? Don't you like feel- 
ing: This is me, this is my hand, this is my leg, I'm real, I'm 
solid, I'm alive! Don't you like THIS?' 

She twisted herself round and pressed her bosom against 
him. He could feel her breasts, ripe yet firm, through her 
overalls. Her body seemed to be pouring some of its youth 
and vigour into his. 

'Yes, I like that,' he said. 

"Then stop talking about dying. And now listen, dear, 
we've got to fix up about the next time we meet. We may as 
well go back to the place in the wood. We've given it a good 
long rest. But you must get there by a different way this time. 
I've got it all planned out. You take the train — but look, I'll 
draw it out for you.' 

And in her practical way she scraped together a small 
square of dust, and with a twig from a pigeon's nest began 
drawing a map on the floor. 

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Chapter 4 

Winston looked round the shabby little room above Mr 
Charrington's shop. Beside the window the enormous 
bed was made up, with ragged blankets and a coverless bol- 
ster. The old-fashioned clock with the twelve-hour face was 
ticking away on the mantelpiece. In the corner, on the gate- 
leg table, the glass paperweight which he had bought on his 
last visit gleamed softly out of the half-darkness. 

In the fender was a battered tin oilstove, a saucepan, and 
two cups, provided by Mr Charrington. Winston lit the 
burner and set a pan of water to boil. He had brought an 
envelope full of Victory Coffee and some saccharine tablets. 
The clock's hands said seventeen-twenty: it was nineteen- 
twenty really. She was coming at nineteen-thirty 

Folly, folly, his heart kept saying: conscious, gratuitous, 
suicidal folly. Of all the crimes that a Party member could 
commit, this one was the least possible to conceal. Actu- 
ally the idea had first floated into his head in the form of a 
vision, of the glass paperweight mirrored by the surface of 
the gateleg table. As he had foreseen, Mr Charrington had 
made no difficulty about letting the room. He was obviously 
glad of the few dollars that it would bring him. Nor did he 
seem shocked or become offensively knowing when it was 
made clear that Winston wanted the room for the purpose 
of a love-affair. Instead he looked into the middle distance 


and spoke in generalities, with so delicate an air as to give 
the impression that he had become partly invisible. Privacy, 
he said, was a very valuable thing. Everyone wanted a place 
where they could be alone occasionally. And when they had 
such a place, it was only common courtesy in anyone else 
who knew of it to keep his knowledge to himself. He even, 
seeming almost to fade out of existence as he did so, add- 
ed that there were two entries to the house, one of them 
through the back yard, which gave on an alley. 

Under the window somebody was singing. Winston 
peeped out, secure in the protection of the muslin curtain. 
The June sun was still high in the sky, and in the sun-filled 
court below, a monstrous woman, solid as a Norman pil- 
lar, with brawny red forearms and a sacking apron strapped 
about her middle, was stumping to and fro between a wash- 
tub and a clothes line, pegging out a series of square white 
things which Winston recognized as babies' diapers. When- 
ever her mouth was not corked with clothes pegs she was 
singing in a powerful contralto: 

It was only an 'opeless fancy. 

It passed like an Ipril dye, 

But a look an a word an the dreams they stirred! 

They 'ave 

stolen my 'eart awye! 

The tune had been haunting London for weeks past. It 
was one of countless similar songs published for the ben- 
efit of the proles by a sub-section of the Music Department. 173 

The words of these songs were composed without any hu- 
man intervention whatever on an instrument known as a 
versificator. But the woman sang so tunefully as to turn the 
dreadful rubbish into an almost pleasant sound. He could 
hear the woman singing and the scrape of her shoes on the 
flagstones, and the cries of the children in the street, and 
somewhere in the far distance a faint roar of traffic, and yet 
the room seemed curiously silent, thanks to the absence of 
a telescreen. 

Folly, folly, folly! he thought again. It was inconceiv- 
able that they could frequent this place for more than a few 
weeks without being caught. But the temptation of having a 
hiding-place that was truly their own, indoors and near at 
hand, had been too much for both of them. For some time 
after their visit to the church belfry it had been impossible 
to arrange meetings. Working hours had been drastically 
increased in anticipation of Hate Week. It was more than 
a month distant, but the enormous, complex preparations 
that it entailed were throwing extra work on to everybody. 
Finally both of them managed to secure a free afternoon on 
the same day. They had agreed to go back to the clearing 
in the wood. On the evening beforehand they met briefly 
in the street. As usual, Winston hardly looked at Julia as 
they drifted towards one another in the crowd, but from 
the short glance he gave her it seemed to him that she was 
paler than usual. 

'It's all off,' she murmured as soon as she judged it safe to 
speak. 'Tomorrow, I mean.' 



'Tomorrow afternoon. I can't come.' 

'Why not?' 

'Oh, the usual reason. It's started early this time.' 

For a moment he was violently angry. During the month 
that he had known her the nature of his desire for her had 
changed. At the beginning there had been little true sensu- 
ality in it. Their first love-making had been simply an act 
of the will. But after the second time it was different. The 
smell of her hair, the taste of her mouth, the feeling of her 
skin seemed to have got inside him, or into the air all round 
him. She had become a physical necessity, something that 
he not only wanted but felt that he had a right to. When she 
said that she could not come, he had the feeling that she was 
cheating him. But just at this moment the crowd pressed 
them together and their hands accidentally met. She gave 
the tips of his fingers a quick squeeze that seemed to in- 
vite not desire but affection. It struck him that when one 
lived with a woman this particular disappointment must be 
a normal, recurring event; and a deep tenderness, such as 
he had not felt for her before, suddenly took hold of him. He 
wished that they were a married couple of ten years' stand- 
ing. He wished that he were walking through the streets 
with her just as they were doing now but openly and with- 
out fear, talking of trivialities and buying odds and ends 
for the household. He wished above all that they had some 
place where they could be alone together without feeling 
the obligation to make love every time they met. It was not 
actually at that moment, but at some time on the following 
day, that the idea of renting Mr Charrington's room had oc- 175 

curred to him. When he suggested it to Julia she had agreed 
with unexpected readiness. Both of them knew that it was 
lunacy. It was as though they were intentionally stepping 
nearer to their graves. As he sat waiting on the edge of the 
bed he thought again of the cellars of the Ministry of Love. 
It was curious how that predestined horror moved in and 
out of one's consciousness. There it lay, fixed in future times, 
preceding death as surely as 99 precedes 100. One could not 
avoid it, but one could perhaps postpone it: and yet instead, 
every now and again, by a conscious, wilful act, one chose 
to shorten the interval before it happened. 

At this moment there was a quick step on the stairs. Julia 
burst into the room. She was carrying a tool-bag of coarse 
brown canvas, such as he had sometimes seen her carrying 
to and fro at the Ministry. He started forward to take her in 
his arms, but she disengaged herself rather hurriedly, partly 
because she was still holding the tool-bag. 

'Half a second,' she said. 'Just let me show you what I've 
brought. Did you bring some of that filthy Victory Coffee? 
I thought you would. You can chuck it away again, because 
we shan't be needing it. Look here.' 

She fell on her knees, threw open the bag, and tumbled 
out some spanners and a screwdriver that filled the top part 
of it. Underneath were a number of neat paper packets. The 
first packet that she passed to Winston had a strange and 
yet vaguely familiar feeling. It was filled with some kind of 
heavy, sand-like stuff which yielded wherever you touched 

'It isn't sugar?' he said. 

176 1984 

'Real sugar. Not saccharine, sugar. And here's a loaf of 
bread — proper white bread, not our bloody stuff— and a lit- 
tle pot of jam. And here's a tin of milk — but look! This is the 
one I'm really proud of. I had to wrap a bit of sacking round 
it, because ' 

But she did not need to tell him why she had wrapped it 
up. The smell was already filling the room, a rich hot smell 
which seemed like an emanation from his early childhood, 
but which one did occasionally meet with even now, blow- 
ing down a passage-way before a door slammed, or diffusing 
itself mysteriously in a crowded street, sniffed for an instant 
and then lost again. 

'It's coffee,' he murmured, 'real coffee.' 

'It's Inner Party coffee. There's a whole kilo here,' she 

'How did you manage to get hold of all these things?' 

'It's all Inner Party stuff. There's nothing those swine 
don't have, nothing. But of course waiters and servants and 
people pinch things, and — look, I got a little packet of tea 
as well.' 

Winston had squatted down beside her. He tore open a 
corner of the packet. 

'It's real tea. Not blackberry leaves.' 

"There's been a lot of tea about lately. They've captured In- 
dia, or something,' she said vaguely. 'But listen, dear. I want 
you to turn your back on me for three minutes. Go and sit 
on the other side of the bed. Don't go too near the window. 
And don't turn round till I tell you.' 

Winston gazed abstractedly through the muslin curtain. 

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Down in the yard the red-armed woman was still marching 
to and fro between the washtub and the line. She took two 
more pegs out of her mouth and sang with deep feeling: 

They sye that time 'eals all things, 

They sye you can always forget; 

But the smiles an the tears acrorss the years 

They twist my 

'eart-strings yet! 

She knew the whole drivelling song by heart, it seemed. 
Her voice floated upward with the sweet summer air, very 
tuneful, charged with a sort of happy melancholy. One had 
the feeling that she would have been perfectly content, if the 
June evening had been endless and the supply of clothes in- 
exhaustible, to remain there for a thousand years, pegging 
out diapers and singing rubbish. It struck him as a curious 
fact that he had never heard a member of the Party singing 
alone and spontaneously. It would even have seemed slightly 
unorthodox, a dangerous eccentricity, like talking to one- 
self. Perhaps it was only when people were somewhere near 
the starvation level that they had anything to sing about. 

'You can turn round now,' said Julia. 

He turned round, and for a second almost failed to rec- 
ognize her. What he had actually expected was to see her 
naked. But she was not naked. The transformation that had 
happened was much more surprising than that. She had 
painted her face. 

She must have slipped into some shop in the proletarian 

178 1984 

quarters and bought herself a complete set of make-up ma- 
terials. Her lips were deeply reddened, her cheeks rouged, 
her nose powdered; there was even a touch of something 
under the eyes to make them brighter. It was not very skil- 
fully done, but Winston's standards in such matters were 
not high. He had never before seen or imagined a woman of 
the Party with cosmetics on her face. The improvement in 
her appearance was startling. With just a few dabs of colour 
in the right places she had become not only very much pret- 
tier, but, above all, far more feminine. Her short hair and 
boyish overalls merely added to the effect. As he took her in 
his arms a wave of synthetic violets flooded his nostrils. He 
remembered the half- darkness of a basement kitchen, and a 
woman's cavernous mouth. It was the very same scent that 
she had used; but at the moment it did not seem to matter. 

'Scent too!' he said. 

'Yes, dear, scent too. And do you know what I'm going to 
do next? I'm going to get hold of a real woman's frock from 
somewhere and wear it instead of these bloody trousers. I'll 
wear silk stockings and high-heeled shoes! In this room I'm 
going to be a woman, not a Party comrade.' 

They flung their clothes off and climbed into the huge 
mahogany bed. It was the first time that he had stripped 
himself naked in her presence. Until now he had been too 
much ashamed of his pale and meagre body, with the vari- 
cose veins standing out on his calves and the discoloured 
patch over his ankle. There were no sheets, but the blanket 
they lay on was threadbare and smooth, and the size and 
springiness of the bed astonished both of them. 'It's sure 

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to be full of bugs, but who cares?' said Julia. One never saw 
a double bed nowadays, except in the homes of the proles. 
Winston had occasionally slept in one in his boyhood: Julia 
had never been in one before, so far as she could remember. 

Presently they fell asleep for a little while. When Win- 
ston woke up the hands of the clock had crept round to 
nearly nine. He did not stir, because Julia was sleeping with 
her head in the crook of his arm. Most of her make-up had 
transferred itself to his own face or the bolster, but a light 
stain of rouge still brought out the beauty of her cheekbone. 
A yellow ray from the sinking sun fell across the foot of the 
bed and lighted up the fireplace, where the water in the pan 
was boiling fast. Down in the yard the woman had stopped 
singing, but the faint shouts of children floated in from the 
street. He wondered vaguely whether in the abolished past 
it had been a normal experience to lie in bed like this, in 
the cool of a summer evening, a man and a woman with no 
clothes on, making love when they chose, talking of what 
they chose, not feeling any compulsion to get up, simply ly- 
ing there and listening to peaceful sounds outside. Surely 
there could never have been a time when that seemed ordi- 
nary? Julia woke up, rubbed her eyes, and raised herself on 
her elbow to look at the oilstove. 

'Half that water's boiled away' she said. 'I'll get up and 
make some coffee in another moment. We've got an hour. 
What time do they cut the lights off at your flats?' 

'Twenty-three thirty' 

'It's twenty-three at the hostel. But you have to get in ear- 
lier than that, because— Hi! Get out, you filthy brute!' 


She suddenly twisted herself over in the bed, seized a 
shoe from the floor, and sent it hurtling into the corner with 
a boyish jerk of her arm, exactly as he had seen her fling the 
dictionary at Goldstein, that morning during the Two Min- 
utes Hate. 

'What was it?' he said in surprise. 

'A rat. I saw him stick his beastly nose out of the wain- 
scoting. There's a hole down there. I gave him a good fright, 

'Rats!' murmured Winston. 'In this room!' 

'They're all over the place,' said Julia indifferently as she 
lay down again. 'We've even got them in the kitchen at the 
hostel. Some parts of London are swarming with them. Did 
you know they attack children? Yes, they do. In some of 
these streets a woman daren't leave a baby alone for two 
minutes. It's the great huge brown ones that do it. And the 
nasty thing is that the brutes always ' 

'DON'T GO ON!' said Winston, with his eyes tightly 

'Dearest! You've gone quite pale. What's the matter? Do 
they make you feel sick?' 

'Of all horrors in the world — a rat!' 

She pressed herself against him and wound her limbs 
round him, as though to reassure him with the warmth 
of her body. He did not reopen his eyes immediately. For 
several moments he had had the feeling of being back in a 
nightmare which had recurred from time to time through- 
out his life. It was always very much the same. He was 
standing in front of a wall of darkness, and on the other 

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side of it there was something unendurable, something too 
dreadful to be faced. In the dream his deepest feeling was 
always one of self-deception, because he did in fact know 
what was behind the wall of darkness. With a deadly effort, 
like wrenching a piece out of his own brain, he could even 
have dragged the thing into the open. He always woke up 
without discovering what it was: but somehow it was con- 
nected with what Julia had been saying when he cut her 

'I'm sorry' he said, 'it's nothing. I don't like rats, that's 

'Don't worry, dear, we're not going to have the filthy 
brutes in here. I'll stuff the hole with a bit of sacking before 
we go. And next time we come here I'll bring some plaster 
and bung it up properly' 

Already the black instant of panic was half-forgotten. 
Feeling slightly ashamed of himself, he sat up against the 
bedhead. Julia got out of bed, pulled on her overalls, and 
made the coffee. The smell that rose from the saucepan was 
so powerful and exciting that they shut the window lest 
anybody outside should notice it and become inquisitive. 
What was even better than the taste of the coffee was the 
silky texture given to it by the sugar, a thing Winston had 
almost forgotten after years of saccharine. With one hand 
in her pocket and a piece of bread and jam in the other, Ju- 
lia wandered about the room, glancing indifferently at the 
bookcase, pointing out the best way of repairing the gate- 
leg table, plumping herself down in the ragged arm-chair to 
see if it was comfortable, and examining the absurd twelve- 


hour clock with a sort of tolerant amusement. She brought 
the glass paperweight over to the bed to have a look at it in a 
better light. He took it out of her hand, fascinated, as always, 
by the soft, rainwatery appearance of the glass. 

'What is it, do you think?' said Julia. 

'I don't think it's anything — I mean, I don't think it was 
ever put to any use. That's what I like about it. It's a little 
chunk of history that they've forgotten to alter. It's a mes- 
sage from a hundred years ago, if one knew how to read it.' 

'And that picture over there' — she nodded at the engrav- 
ing on the opposite wall — 'would that be a hundred years 

'More. Two hundred, I dare say. One can't tell. It's impos- 
sible to discover the age of anything nowadays.' 

She went over to look at it. 'Here's where that brute stuck 
his nose out,' she said, kicking the wainscoting immediate- 
ly below the picture. 'What is this place? I've seen it before 

'It's a church, or at least it used to be. St Clement Danes 
its name was.' The fragment of rhyme that Mr Charrington 
had taught him came back into his head, and he added 
half-nostalgically: 'Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St 

To his astonishment she capped the line: 

'You owe me three farthings, say the bells of St Martin's, 
When will you pay me? say the bells of Old Bailey ' 

'I can't remember how it goes on after that. But anyway 183 

I remember it ends up, 'Here comes a candle to light you to 
bed, here comes a chopper to chop off your head!" 

It was like the two halves of a countersign. But there 
must be another line after 'the bells of Old Bailey'. Perhaps 
it could be dug out of Mr Charrington's memory, if he were 
suitably prompted. 

'Who taught you that?' he said. 

'My grandfather. He used to say it to me when I was a lit- 
tle girl. He was vaporized when I was eight — at any rate, he 
disappeared. I wonder what a lemon was,' she added incon- 
sequently 'I've seen oranges. They're a kind of round yellow 
fruit with a thick skin.' 

T can remember lemons,' said Winston. "They were quite 
common in the fifties. They were so sour that it set your 
teeth on edge even to smell them.' 

T bet that picture's got bugs behind it,' said Julia. 'I'll 
take it down and give it a good clean some day. I suppose 
it's almost time we were leaving. I must start washing this 
paint off. What a bore! I'll get the lipstick off your face af- 

Winston did not get up for a few minutes more. The 
room was darkening. He turned over towards the light and 
lay gazing into the glass paperweight. The inexhaustibly 
interesting thing was not the fragment of coral but the in- 
terior of the glass itself. There was such a depth of it, and 
yet it was almost as transparent as air. It was as though the 
surface of the glass had been the arch of the sky, enclosing 
a tiny world with its atmosphere complete. He had the feel- 
ing that he could get inside it, and that in fact he was inside 

184 1984 

it, along with the mahogany bed and the gateleg table, and 
the clock and the steel engraving and the paperweight itself. 
The paperweight was the room he was in, and the coral was 
Julia's life and his own, fixed in a sort of eternity at the heart 
of the crystal. 185 

Chapter 5 

Syme had vanished. A morning came, and he was miss- 
ing from work: a few thoughtless people commented on 
his absence. On the next day nobody mentioned him. On 
the third day Winston went into the vestibule of the Re- 
cords Department to look at the notice-board. One of the 
notices carried a printed list of the members of the Chess 
Committee, of whom Syme had been one. It looked almost 
exactly as it had looked before — nothing had been crossed 
out — but it was one name shorter. It was enough. Syme had 
ceased to exist: he had never existed. 

The weather was baking hot. In the labyrinthine Ministry 
the windowless, air-conditioned rooms kept their normal 
temperature, but outside the pavements scorched one's feet 
and the stench of the Tubes at the rush hours was a hor- 
ror. The preparations for Hate Week were in full swing, and 
the staffs of all the Ministries were working overtime. Pro- 
cessions, meetings, military parades, lectures, waxworks, 
displays, film shows, telescreen programmes all had to be 
organized; stands had to be erected, effigies built, slogans 
coined, songs written, rumours circulated, photographs 
faked. Julia's unit in the Fiction Department had been tak- 
en off the production of novels and was rushing out a series 
of atrocity pamphlets. Winston, in addition to his regular 
work, spent long periods every day in going through back 


files of 'The Times' and altering and embellishing news 
items which were to be quoted in speeches. Late at night, 
when crowds of rowdy proles roamed the streets, the town 
had a curiously febrile air. The rocket bombs crashed of- 
tener than ever, and sometimes in the far distance there 
were enormous explosions which no one could explain and 
about which there were wild rumours. 

The new tune which was to be the theme-song of Hate 
Week (the Hate Song, it was called) had already been com- 
posed and was being endlessly plugged on the telescreens. 
It had a savage, barking rhythm which could not exactly be 
called music, but resembled the beating of a drum. Roared 
out by hundreds of voices to the tramp of marching feet, it 
was terrifying. The proles had taken a fancy to it, and in the 
midnight streets it competed with the still-popular 'It was 
only a hopeless fancy'. The Parsons children played it at all 
hours of the night and day, unbearably, on a comb and a 
piece of toilet paper. Winston's evenings were fuller than 
ever. Squads of volunteers, organized by Parsons, were pre- 
paring the street for Hate Week, stitching banners, painting 
posters, erecting flagstaff's on the roofs, and perilously sling- 
ing wires across the street for the reception of streamers. 
Parsons boasted that Victory Mansions alone would display 
four hundred metres of bunting. He was in his native ele- 
ment and as happy as a lark. The heat and the manual work 
had even given him a pretext for reverting to shorts and 
an open shirt in the evenings. He was everywhere at once, 
pushing, pulling, sawing, hammering, improvising, jolly- 
ing everyone along with comradely exhortations and giving 187 

out from every fold of his body what seemed an inexhaust- 
ible supply of acrid-smelling sweat. 

A new poster had suddenly appeared all over London. It 
had no caption, and represented simply the monstrous fig- 
ure of a Eurasian soldier, three or four metres high, striding 
forward with expressionless Mongolian face and enor- 
mous boots, a submachine gun pointed from his hip. From 
whatever angle you looked at the poster, the muzzle of the 
gun, magnified by the foreshortening, seemed to be point- 
ed straight at you. The thing had been plastered on every 
blank space on every wall, even outnumbering the por- 
traits of Big Brother. The proles, normally apathetic about 
the war, were being lashed into one of their periodical fren- 
zies of patriotism. As though to harmonize with the general 
mood, the rocket bombs had been killing larger numbers 
of people than usual. One fell on a crowded film theatre in 
Stepney, burying several hundred victims among the ruins. 
The whole population of the neighbourhood turned out for 
a long, trailing funeral which went on for hours and was in 
effect an indignation meeting. Another bomb fell on a piece 
of waste ground which was used as a playground and sever- 
al dozen children were blown to pieces. There were further 
angry demonstrations, Goldstein was burned in effigy, hun- 
dreds of copies of the poster of the Eurasian soldier were 
torn down and added to the flames, and a number of shops 
were looted in the turmoil; then a rumour flew round that 
spies were directing the rocket bombs by means of wireless 
waves, and an old couple who were suspected of being of 
foreign extraction had their house set on fire and perished 


of suffocation. 

In the room over Mr Charrington's shop, when they could 
get there, Julia and Winston lay side by side on a stripped 
bed under the open window, naked for the sake of coolness. 
The rat had never come back, but the bugs had multiplied 
hideously in the heat. It did not seem to matter. Dirty or 
clean, the room was paradise. As soon as they arrived they 
would sprinkle everything with pepper bought on the black 
market, tear off their clothes, and make love with sweating 
bodies, then fall asleep and wake to find that the bugs had 
rallied and were massing for the counter-attack. 

Four, five, six — seven times they met during the month 
of June. Winston had dropped his habit of drinking gin at 
all hours. He seemed to have lost the need for it. He had 
grown fatter, his varicose ulcer had subsided, leaving only 
a brown stain on the skin above his ankle, his fits of cough- 
ing in the early morning had stopped. The process of life 
had ceased to be intolerable, he had no longer any impulse 
to make faces at the telescreen or shout curses at the top of 
his voice. Now that they had a secure hiding-place, almost a 
home, it did not even seem a hardship that they could only 
meet infrequently and for a couple of hours at a time. What 
mattered was that the room over the junk-shop should exist. 
To know that it was there, inviolate, was almost the same as 
being in it. The room was a world, a pocket of the past where 
extinct animals could walk. Mr Charrington, thought Win- 
ston, was another extinct animal. He usually stopped to talk 
with Mr Charrington for a few minutes on his way upstairs. 
The old man seemed seldom or never to go out of doors, 189 

and on the other hand to have almost no customers. He 
led a ghostlike existence between the tiny, dark shop, and 
an even tinier back kitchen where he prepared his meals 
and which contained, among other things, an unbelievably 
ancient gramophone with an enormous horn. He seemed 
glad of the opportunity to talk. Wandering about among 
his worthless stock, with his long nose and thick spectacles 
and his bowed shoulders in the velvet jacket, he had always 
vaguely the air of being a collector rather than a tradesman. 
With a sort of faded enthusiasm he would finger this scrap 
of rubbish or that — a china bottle-stopper, the painted lid of 
a broken snuffbox, a pinchbeck locket containing a strand 
of some long-dead baby's hair — never asking that Winston 
should buy it, merely that he should admire it. To talk to 
him was like listening to the tinkling of a worn-out musical- 
box. He had dragged out from the corners of his memory 
some more fragments of forgotten rhymes. There was one 
about four and twenty blackbirds, and another about a cow 
with a crumpled horn, and another about the death of poor 
Cock Robin. 'It just occurred to me you might be interested,' 
he would say with a deprecating little laugh whenever he 
produced a new fragment. But he could never recall more 
than a few lines of any one rhyme. 

Both of them knew — in a way, it was never out of their 
minds that what was now happening could not last long. 
There were times when the fact of impending death seemed 
as palpable as the bed they lay on, and they would cling to- 
gether with a sort of despairing sensuality, like a damned 
soul grasping at his last morsel of pleasure when the clock 


is within five minutes of striking. But there were also times 
when they had the illusion not only of safety but of per- 
manence. So long as they were actually in this room, they 
both felt, no harm could come to them. Getting there was 
difficult and dangerous, but the room itself was sanctuary. 
It was as when Winston had gazed into the heart of the pa- 
perweight, with the feeling that it would be possible to get 
inside that glassy world, and that once inside it time could 
be arrested. Often they gave themselves up to daydreams of 
escape. Their luck would hold indefinitely, and they would 
carry on their intrigue, just like this, for the remainder of 
their natural lives. Or Katharine would die, and by subtle 
manoeuvrings Winston and Julia would succeed in get- 
ting married. Or they would commit suicide together. Or 
they would disappear, alter themselves out of recognition, 
learn to speak with proletarian accents, get jobs in a factory 
and live out their lives undetected in a back-street. It was 
all nonsense, as they both knew. In reality there was no es- 
cape. Even the one plan that was practicable, suicide, they 
had no intention of carrying out. To hang on from day to 
day and from week to week, spinning out a present that had 
no future, seemed an unconquerable instinct, just as one's 
lungs will always draw the next breath so long as there is 
air available. 

Sometimes, too, they talked of engaging in active rebel- 
lion against the Party, but with no notion of how to take 
the first step. Even if the fabulous Brotherhood was a real- 
ity, there still remained the difficulty of finding one's way 
into it. He told her of the strange intimacy that existed, or 

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seemed to exist, between himself and O'Brien, and of the 
impulse he sometimes felt, simply to walk into O'Brien's 
presence, announce that he was the enemy of the Party, and 
demand his help. Curiously enough, this did not strike her 
as an impossibly rash thing to do. She was used to judg- 
ing people by their faces, and it seemed natural to her that 
Winston should believe O'Brien to be trustworthy on the 
strength of a single flash of the eyes. Moreover she took it 
for granted that everyone, or nearly everyone, secretly hated 
the Party and would break the rules if he thought it safe to 
do so. But she refused to believe that widespread, organized 
opposition existed or could exist. The tales about Goldstein 
and his underground army, she said, were simply a lot of 
rubbish which the Party had invented for its own purposes 
and which you had to pretend to believe in. Times beyond 
number, at Party rallies and spontaneous demonstrations, 
she had shouted at the top of her voice for the execution of 
people whose names she had never heard and in whose sup- 
posed crimes she had not the faintest belief. When public 
trials were happening she had taken her place in the detach- 
ments from the Youth League who surrounded the courts 
from morning to night, chanting at intervals 'Death to the 
traitors!' During the Two Minutes Hate she always excelled 
all others in shouting insults at Goldstein. Yet she had only 
the dimmest idea of who Goldstein was and what doctrines 
he was supposed to represent. She had grown up since the 
Revolution and was too young to remember the ideological 
battles of the fifties and sixties. Such a thing as an indepen- 
dent political movement was outside her imagination: and 


in any case the Party was invincible. It would always ex- 
ist, and it would always be the same. You could only rebel 
against it by secret disobedience or, at most, by isolated acts 
of violence such as killing somebody or blowing something 

In some ways she was far more acute than Winston, and 
far less susceptible to Party propaganda. Once when he 
happened in some connexion to mention the war against 
Eurasia, she startled him by saying casually that in her opin- 
ion the war was not happening. The rocket bombs which fell 
daily on London were probably fired by the Government 
of Oceania itself, 'just to keep people frightened'. This was 
an idea that had literally never occurred to him. She also 
stirred a sort of envy in him by telling him that during the 
Two Minutes Hate her great difficulty was to avoid bursting 
out laughing. But she only questioned the teachings of the 
Party when they in some way touched upon her own life. 
Often she was ready to accept the official mythology, simply 
because the difference between truth and falsehood did not 
seem important to her. She believed, for instance, having 
learnt it at school, that the Party had invented aeroplanes. 
(In his own schooldays, Winston remembered, in the late 
fifties, it was only the helicopter that the Party claimed to 
have invented; a dozen years later, when Julia was at school, 
it was already claiming the aeroplane; one generation more, 
and it would be claiming the steam engine.) And when he 
told her that aeroplanes had been in existence before he was 
born and long before the Revolution, the fact struck her as 
totally uninteresting. After all, what did it matter who had 

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invented aeroplanes? It was rather more of a shock to him 
when he discovered from some chance remark that she did 
not remember that Oceania, four years ago, had been at war 
with Eastasia and at peace with Eurasia. It was true that she 
regarded the whole war as a sham: but apparently she had 
not even noticed that the name of the enemy had changed. 
'I thought we'd always been at war with Eurasia,' she said 
vaguely. It frightened him a little. The invention of aero- 
planes dated from long before her birth, but the switchover 
in the war had happened only four years ago, well after she 
was grown up. He argued with her about it for perhaps a 
quarter of an hour. In the end he succeeded in forcing her 
memory back until she did dimly recall that at one time 
Eastasia and not Eurasia had been the enemy. But the issue 
still struck her as unimportant. 'Who cares?' she said im- 
patiently. 'It's always one bloody war after another, and one 
knows the news is all lies anyway' 

Sometimes he talked to her of the Records Department 
and the impudent forgeries that he committed there. Such 
things did not appear to horrify her. She did not feel the 
abyss opening beneath her feet at the thought of lies becom- 
ing truths. He told her the story of Jones, Aaronson, and 
Rutherford and the momentous slip of paper which he had 
once held between his fingers. It did not make much im- 
pression on her. At first, indeed, she failed to grasp the point 
of the story. 

'Were they friends of yours?' she said. 

'No, I never knew them. They were Inner Party members. 
Besides, they were far older men than I was. They belonged 


to the old days, before the Revolution. I barely knew them 
by sight.' 

"Then what was there to worry about? People are being 
killed off all the time, aren't they?' 

He tried to make her understand. "This was an excep- 
tional case. It wasn't just a question of somebody being 
killed. Do you realize that the past, starting from yester- 
day, has been actually abolished? If it survives anywhere, 
it's in a few solid objects with no words attached to them, 
like that lump of glass there. Already we know almost lit- 
erally nothing about the Revolution and the years before 
the Revolution. Every record has been destroyed or falsi- 
fied, every book has been rewritten, every picture has been 
repainted, every statue and street and building has been 
renamed, every date has been altered. And that process is 
continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has 
stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which 
the Party is always right. I know, of course, that the past is 
falsified, but it would never be possible for me to prove it, 
even when I did the falsification myself. After the thing is 
done, no evidence ever remains. The only evidence is inside 
my own mind, and I don't know with any certainty that any 
other human being shares my memories. Just in that one 
instance, in my whole life, I did possess actual concrete evi- 
dence after the event — years after it.' 

And what good was that?' 

'It was no good, because I threw it away a few minutes lat- 
er. But if the same thing happened today, I should keep it.' 

'Well, I wouldn't!' said Julia. 'I'm quite ready to take 

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risks, but only for something worth while, not for bits of 
old newspaper. What could you have done with it even if 
you had kept it?' 

'Not much, perhaps. But it was evidence. It might have 
planted a few doubts here and there, supposing that I'd 
dared to show it to anybody. I don't imagine that we can 
alter anything in our own lifetime. But one can imagine lit- 
tle knots of resistance springing up here and there — small 
groups of people banding themselves together, and gradu- 
ally growing, and even leaving a few records behind, so that 
the next generations can carry on where we leave off.' 

'I'm not interested in the next generation, dear. I'm inter- 
ested in US.' 

'You're only a rebel from the waist downwards,' he told 

She thought this brilliantly witty and flung her arms 
round him in delight. 

In the ramifications of party doctrine she had not the 
faintest interest. Whenever he began to talk of the princi- 
ples of Ingsoc, doublethink, the mutability of the past, and 
the denial of objective reality, and to use Newspeak words, 
she became bored and confused and said that she never paid 
any attention to that kind of thing. One knew that it was all 
rubbish, so why let oneself be worried by it? She knew when 
to cheer and when to boo, and that was all one needed. If he 
persisted in talking of such subjects, she had a disconcerting 
habit of falling asleep. She was one of those people who can 
go to sleep at any hour and in any position. Talking to her, 
he realized how easy it was to present an appearance of or- 

196 1984 

thodoxy while having no grasp whatever of what orthodoxy 
meant. In a way, the world- view of the Party imposed itself 
most successfully on people incapable of understanding it. 
They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations 
of reality, because they never fully grasped the enormity 
of what was demanded of them, and were not sufficiently 
interested in public events to notice what was happening. 
By lack of understanding they remained sane. They simply 
swallowed everything, and what they swallowed did them 
no harm, because it left no residue behind, just as a grain of 
corn will pass undigested through the body of a bird. 

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Chapter 6 

It had happened at last. The expected message had come. 
All his life, it seemed to him, he had been waiting for this 
to happen. 

He was walking down the long corridor at the Minis- 
try and he was almost at the spot where Julia had slipped 
the note into his hand when he became aware that some- 
one larger than himself was walking just behind him. The 
person, whoever it was, gave a small cough, evidently as a 
prelude to speaking. Winston stopped abruptly and turned. 
It was O'Brien. 

At last they were face to face, and it seemed that his only 
impulse was to run away. His heart bounded violently. He 
would have been incapable of speaking. O'Brien, however, 
had continued forward in the same movement, laying a 
friendly hand for a moment on Winston's arm, so that the 
two of them were walking side by side. He began speak- 
ing with the peculiar grave courtesy that differentiated him 
from the majority of Inner Party members. 

'I had been hoping for an opportunity of talking to you,' 
he said. 'I was reading one of your Newspeak articles in 
'The Times' the other day. You take a scholarly interest in 
Newspeak, I believe?' 

Winston had recovered part of his self-possession. 
'Hardly scholarly' he said. 'I'm only an amateur. It's not my 


subject. I have never had anything to do with the actual 
construction of the language.' 

'But you write it very elegantly' said O'Brien. "That is not 
only my own opinion. I was talking recently to a friend of 
yours who is certainly an expert. His name has slipped my 
memory for the moment.' 

Again Winston's heart stirred painfully. It was incon- 
ceivable that this was anything other than a reference to 
Syme. But Syme was not only dead, he was abolished, an 
unperson. Any identifiable reference to him would have 
been mortally dangerous. O'Brien's remark must obviously 
have been intended as a signal, a codeword. By sharing a 
small act of thoughtcrime he had turned the two of them 
into accomplices. They had continued to stroll slowly down 
the corridor, but now O'Brien halted. With the curious, dis- 
arming friendliness that he always managed to put in to the 
gesture he resettled his spectacles on his nose. Then he went 

'What I had really intended to say was that in your article 
I noticed you had used two words which have become obso- 
lete. But they have only become so very recently. Have you 
seen the tenth edition of the Newspeak Dictionary?' 

'No,' said Winston. 'I didn't think it had been issued yet. 
We are still using the ninth in the Records Department.' 

'The tenth edition is not due to appear for some months, 
I believe. But a few advance copies have been circulated. 
I have one myself. It might interest you to look at it, per- 

'Very much so,' said Winston, immediately seeing where 

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this tended. 

'Some of the new developments are most ingenious. The 
reduction in the number of verbs — that is the point that will 
appeal to you, I think. Let me see, shall I send a messenger 
to you with the dictionary? But I am afraid I invariably for- 
get anything of that kind. Perhaps you could pick it up at 
my flat at some time that suited you? Wait. Let me give you 
my address.' 

They were standing in front of a telescreen. Somewhat 
absentmindedly O'Brien felt two of his pockets and then 
produced a small leather-covered notebook and a gold 
ink-pencil. Immediately beneath the telescreen, in such a 
position that anyone who was watching at the other end of 
the instrument could read what he was writing, he scribbled 
an address, tore out the page and handed it to Winston. 

'I am usually at home in the evenings,' he said. 'If not, my 
servant will give you the dictionary' 

He was gone, leaving Winston holding the scrap of paper, 
which this time there was no need to conceal. Nevertheless 
he carefully memorized what was written on it, and some 
hours later dropped it into the memory hole along with a 
mass of other papers. 

They had been talking to one another for a couple of 
minutes at the most. There was only one meaning that the 
episode could possibly have. It had been contrived as a way 
of letting Winston know O'Brien's address. This was neces- 
sary, because except by direct enquiry it was never possible 
to discover where anyone lived. There were no directories 
of any kind. 'If you ever want to see me, this is where I can 


be found,' was what O'Brien had been saying to him. Per- 
haps there would even be a message concealed somewhere 
in the dictionary. But at any rate, one thing was certain. The 
conspiracy that he had dreamed of did exist, and he had 
reached the outer edges of it. 

He knew that sooner or later he would obey O'Brien's 
summons. Perhaps tomorrow, perhaps after a long de- 
lay — he was not certain. What was happening was only the 
working-out of a process that had started years ago. The 
first step had been a secret, involuntary thought, the sec- 
ond had been the opening of the diary. He had moved from 
thoughts to words, and now from words to actions. The last 
step was something that would happen in the Ministry of 
Love. He had accepted it. The end was contained in the be- 
ginning. But it was frightening: or, more exactly, it was like 
a foretaste of death, like being a little less alive. Even while 
he was speaking to O'Brien, when the meaning of the words 
had sunk in, a chilly shuddering feeling had taken posses- 
sion of his body. He had the sensation of stepping into the 
dampness of a grave, and it was not much better because 
he had always known that the grave was there and waiting 
for him. 

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Chapter 7 

Winston had woken up with his eyes full of tears. Ju- 
lia rolled sleepily against him, murmuring something 
that might have been 'What's the matter?' 

'I dreamt — ' he began, and stopped short. It was too com- 
plex to be put into words. There was the dream itself, and 
there was a memory connected with it that had swum into 
his mind in the few seconds after waking. 

He lay back with his eyes shut, still sodden in the atmo- 
sphere of the dream. It was a vast, luminous dream in which 
his whole life seemed to stretch out before him like a land- 
scape on a summer evening after rain. It had all occurred 
inside the glass paperweight, but the surface of the glass 
was the dome of the sky, and inside the dome everything 
was flooded with clear soft light in which one could see into 
interminable distances. The dream had also been compre- 
hended by — indeed, in some sense it had consisted in — a 
gesture of the arm made by his mother, and made again 
thirty years later by the Jewish woman he had seen on the 
news film, trying to shelter the small boy from the bullets, 
before the helicopter blew them both to pieces. 

'Do you know,' he said, 'that until this moment I believed 
I had murdered my mother?' 

'Why did you murder her?' said Julia, almost asleep. 

'I didn't murder her. Not physically' 


In the dream he had remembered his last glimpse of his 
mother, and within a few moments of waking the cluster 
of small events surrounding it had all come back. It was a 
memory that he must have deliberately pushed out of his 
consciousness over many years. He was not certain of the 
date, but he could not have been less than ten years old, pos- 
sibly twelve, when it had happened. 

His father had disappeared some time earlier, how much 
earlier he could not remember. He remembered better the 
rackety, uneasy circumstances of the time: the periodical 
panics about air-raids and the sheltering in Tube stations, 
the piles of rubble everywhere, the unintelligible proc- 
lamations posted at street corners, the gangs of youths in 
shirts all the same colour, the enormous queues outside 
the bakeries, the intermittent machine-gun fire in the dis- 
tance — above all, the fact that there was never enough to 
eat. He remembered long afternoons spent with other boys 
in scrounging round dustbins and rubbish heaps, picking 
out the ribs of cabbage leaves, potato peelings, sometimes 
even scraps of stale breadcrust from which they carefully 
scraped away the cinders; and also in waiting for the pass- 
ing of trucks which travelled over a certain route and were 
known to carry cattle feed, and which, when they jolted 
over the bad patches in the road, sometimes spilt a few frag- 
ments of oil-cake. 

When his father disappeared, his mother did not show 
any surprise or any violent grief, but a sudden change came 
over her. She seemed to have become completely spiritless. 
It was evident even to Winston that she was waiting for 

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something that she knew must happen. She did everything 
that was needed — cooked, washed, mended, made the bed, 
swept the floor, dusted the mantelpiece — always very slowly 
and with a curious lack of superfluous motion, like an art- 
ist's lay- figure moving of its own accord. Her large shapely 
body seemed to relapse naturally into stillness. For hours 
at a time she would sit almost immobile on the bed, nurs- 
ing his young sister, a tiny, ailing, very silent child of two 
or three, with a face made simian by thinness. Very occa- 
sionally she would take Winston in her arms and press him 
against her for a long time without saying anything. He was 
aware, in spite of his youthfulness and selfishness, that this 
was somehow connected with the never-mentioned thing 
that was about to happen. 

He remembered the room where they lived, a dark, close- 
smelling room that seemed half filled by a bed with a white 
counterpane. There was a gas ring in the fender, and a shelf 
where food was kept, and on the landing outside there was 
a brown earthenware sink, common to several rooms. He 
remembered his mother's statuesque body bending over the 
gas ring to stir at something in a saucepan. Above all he 
remembered his continuous hunger, and the fierce sordid 
battles at mealtimes. He would ask his mother naggingly, 
over and over again, why there was not more food, he would 
shout and storm at her (he even remembered the tones of 
his voice, which was beginning to break prematurely and 
sometimes boomed in a peculiar way), or he would attempt 
a snivelling note of pathos in his efforts to get more than his 
share. His mother was quite ready to give him more than 


his share. She took it for granted that he, 'the boy', should 
have the biggest portion; but however much she gave him 
he invariably demanded more. At every meal she would be- 
seech him not to be selfish and to remember that his little 
sister was sick and also needed food, but it was no use. He 
would cry out with rage when she stopped ladling, he would 
try to wrench the saucepan and spoon out of her hands, he 
would grab bits from his sister's plate. He knew that he was 
starving the other two, but he could not help it; he even felt 
that he had a right to do it. The clamorous hunger in his bel- 
ly seemed to justify him. Between meals, if his mother did 
not stand guard, he was constantly pilfering at the wretched 
store of food on the shelf. 

One day a chocolate-ration was issued. There had been 
no such issue for weeks or months past. He remembered 
quite clearly that precious little morsel of chocolate. It was a 
two-ounce slab (they still talked about ounces in those days) 
between the three of them. It was obvious that it ought to 
be divided into three equal parts. Suddenly, as though he 
were listening to somebody else, Winston heard himself 
demanding in a loud booming voice that he should be giv- 
en the whole piece. His mother told him not to be greedy. 
There was a long, nagging argument that went round and 
round, with shouts, whines, tears, remonstrances, bargain- 
ings. His tiny sister, clinging to her mother with both hands, 
exactly like a baby monkey, sat looking over her shoulder at 
him with large, mournful eyes. In the end his mother broke 
off three-quarters of the chocolate and gave it to Winston, 
giving the other quarter to his sister. The little girl took hold 205 

of it and looked at it dully, perhaps not knowing what it was. 
Winston stood watching her for a moment. Then with a 
sudden swift spring he had snatched the piece of chocolate 
out of his sister's hand and was fleeing for the door. 

'Winston, Winston!' his mother called after him. 'Come 
back! Give your sister back her chocolate!' 

He stopped, but did not come back. His mother's anx- 
ious eyes were fixed on his face. Even now he was thinking 
about the thing, he did not know what it was that was on 
the point of happening. His sister, conscious of having been 
robbed of something, had set up a feeble wail. His mother 
drew her arm round the child and pressed its face against 
her breast. Something in the gesture told him that his sis- 
ter was dying. He turned and fled down the stairs, with the 
chocolate growing sticky in his hand. 

He never saw his mother again. After he had devoured 
the chocolate he felt somewhat ashamed of himself and 
hung about in the streets for several hours, until hunger 
drove him home. When he came back his mother had dis- 
appeared. This was already becoming normal at that time. 
Nothing was gone from the room except his mother and his 
sister. They had not taken any clothes, not even his mother's 
overcoat. To this day he did not know with any certainty 
that his mother was dead. It was perfectly possible that she 
had merely been sent to a forced-labour camp. As for his 
sister, she might have been removed, like Winston himself, 
to one of the colonies for homeless children (Reclamation 
Centres, they were called) which had grown up as a result 
of the civil war, or she might have been sent to the labour 


camp along with his mother, or simply left somewhere or 
other to die. 

The dream was still vivid in his mind, especially the en- 
veloping protecting gesture of the arm in which its whole 
meaning seemed to be contained. His mind went back to 
another dream of two months ago. Exactly as his mother 
had sat on the dingy whitequilted bed, with the child cling- 
ing to her, so she had sat in the sunken ship, far underneath 
him, and drowning deeper every minute, but still looking 
up at him through the darkening water. 

He told Julia the story of his mother's disappearance. 
Without opening her eyes she rolled over and settled herself 
into a more comfortable position. 

'I expect you were a beastly little swine in those days,' she 
said indistinctly. 'All children are swine.' 

'Yes. But the real point of the story ' 

From her breathing it was evident that she was going 
off to sleep again. He would have liked to continue talking 
about his mother. He did not suppose, from what he could 
remember of her, that she had been an unusual woman, still 
less an intelligent one; and yet she had possessed a kind of 
nobility, a kind of purity, simply because the standards that 
she obeyed were private ones. Her feelings were her own, 
and could not be altered from outside. It would not have 
occurred to her that an action which is ineffectual thereby 
becomes meaningless. If you loved someone, you loved him, 
and when you had nothing else to give, you still gave him 
love. When the last of the chocolate was gone, his mother 
had clasped the child in her arms. It was no use, it changed 

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nothing, it did not produce more chocolate, it did not avert 
the child's death or her own; but it seemed natural to her to 
do it. The refugee woman in the boat had also covered the 
little boy with her arm, which was no more use against the 
bullets than a sheet of paper. The terrible thing that the Par- 
ty had done was to persuade you that mere impulses, mere 
feelings, were of no account, while at the same time robbing 
you of all power over the material world. When once you 
were in the grip of the Party, what you felt or did not feel, 
what you did or refrained from doing, made literally no dif- 
ference. Whatever happened you vanished, and neither you 
nor your actions were ever heard of again. You were lifted 
clean out of the stream of history. And yet to the people 
of only two generations ago this would not have seemed 
all-important, because they were not attempting to alter 
history. They were governed by private loyalties which they 
did not question. What mattered were individual relation- 
ships, and a completely helpless gesture, an embrace, a tear, 
a word spoken to a dying man, could have value in itself. 
The proles, it suddenly occurred to him, had remained in 
this condition. They were not loyal to a party or a country or 
an idea, they were loyal to one another. For the first time in 
his life he did not despise the proles or think of them merely 
as an inert force which would one day spring to life and re- 
generate the world. The proles had stayed human. They had 
not become hardened inside. They had held on to the primi- 
tive emotions which he himself had to re-learn by conscious 
effort. And in thinking this he remembered, without appar- 
ent relevance, how a few weeks ago he had seen a severed 


hand lying on the pavement and had kicked it into the gut- 
ter as though it had been a cabbage-stalk. 

"The proles are human beings,' he said aloud. 'We are not 

'Why not?' said Julia, who had woken up again. 

He thought for a little while. 'Has it ever occurred to you,' 
he said, 'that the best thing for us to do would be simply to 
walk out of here before it's too late, and never see each other 

'Yes, dear, it has occurred to me, several times. But I'm 
not going to do it, all the same.' 

'We've been lucky' he said 'but it can't last much longer. 
You're young. You look normal and innocent. If you keep 
clear of people like me, you might stay alive for another fifty 

'No. I've thought it all out. What you do, I'm going to do. 
And don't be too downhearted. I'm rather good at staying 

'We may be together for another six months — a year — 
there's no knowing. At the end we're certain to be apart. Do 
you realize how utterly alone we shall be? When once they 
get hold of us there will be nothing, literally nothing, that 
either of us can do for the other. If I confess, they'll shoot 
you, and if I refuse to confess, they'll shoot you just the same. 
Nothing that I can do or say, or stop myself from saying, will 
put off your death for as much as five minutes. Neither of us 
will even know whether the other is alive or dead. We shall 
be utterly without power of any kind. The one thing that 
matters is that we shouldn't betray one another, although 

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even that can't make the slightest difference.' 

'If you mean confessing,' she said, 'we shall do that, right 
enough. Everybody always confesses. You can't help it. They 
torture you.' 

'I don't mean confessing. Confession is not betrayal. 
What you say or do doesn't matter: only feelings matter. If 
they could make me stop loving you — that would be the 
real betrayal.' 

She thought it over. 'They can't do that,' she said final- 
ly 'It's the one thing they can't do. They can make you say 
anything — ANYTHING — but they can't make you believe 
it. They can't get inside you.' 

'No,' he said a little more hopefully, 'no; that's quite true. 
They can't get inside you. If you can FEEL that staying hu- 
man is worth while, even when it can't have any result 
whatever, you've beaten them.' 

He thought of the telescreen with its never- sleeping ear. 
They could spy upon you night and day, but if you kept your 
head you could still outwit them. With all their cleverness 
they had never mastered the secret of finding out what an- 
other human being was thinking. Perhaps that was less true 
when you were actually in their hands. One did not know 
what happened inside the Ministry of Love, but it was pos- 
sible to guess: tortures, drugs, delicate instruments that 
registered your nervous reactions, gradual wearing- down 
by sleeplessness and solitude and persistent questioning. 
Facts, at any rate, could not be kept hidden. They could be 
tracked down by enquiry, they could be squeezed out of you 
by torture. But if the object was not to stay alive but to stay 


human, what difference did it ultimately make? They could 
not alter your feelings: for that matter you could not alter 
them yourself, even if you wanted to. They could lay bare in 
the utmost detail everything that you had done or said or 
thought; but the inner heart, whose workings were mysteri- 
ous even to yourself, remained impregnable. 

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Chapter 8 

They had done it, they had done it at last! 
The room they were standing in was long-shaped and 
softly lit. The telescreen was dimmed to a low murmur; the 
richness of the dark-blue carpet gave one the impression of 
treading on velvet. At the far end of the room O'Brien was 
sitting at a table under a green-shaded lamp, with a mass of 
papers on either side of him. He had not bothered to look up 
when the servant showed Julia and Winston in. 

Winston's heart was thumping so hard that he doubted 
whether he would be able to speak. They had done it, they 
had done it at last, was all he could think. It had been a rash 
act to come here at all, and sheer folly to arrive together; 
though it was true that they had come by different routes 
and only met on O'Brien's doorstep. But merely to walk into 
such a place needed an effort of the nerve. It was only on 
very rare occasions that one saw inside the dwelling-plac- 
es of the Inner Party, or even penetrated into the quarter 
of the town where they lived. The whole atmosphere of the 
huge block of flats, the richness and spaciousness of every- 
thing, the unfamiliar smells of good food and good tobacco, 
the silent and incredibly rapid lifts sliding up and down, the 
white-jacketed servants hurrying to and fro — everything 
was intimidating. Although he had a good pretext for com- 
ing here, he was haunted at every step by the fear that a 


black-uniformed guard would suddenly appear from round 
the corner, demand his papers, and order him to get out. 
O'Brien's servant, however, had admitted the two of them 
without demur. He was a small, dark-haired man in a white 
jacket, with a diamond- shaped, completely expressionless 
face which might have been that of a Chinese. The passage 
down which he led them was softly carpeted, with cream- 
papered walls and white wainscoting, all exquisitely clean. 
That too was intimidating. Winston could not remember 
ever to have seen a passageway whose walls were not grimy 
from the contact of human bodies. 

O'Brien had a slip of paper between his fingers and 
seemed to be studying it intently. His heavy face, bent down 
so that one could see the line of the nose, looked both for- 
midable and intelligent. For perhaps twenty seconds he sat 
without stirring. Then he pulled the speakwrite towards 
him and rapped out a message in the hybrid jargon of the 

'Items one comma five comma seven approved fullwise 
stop suggestion contained item six doubleplus ridiculous 
verging crimethink cancel stop unproceed construction-wise 
antegetting plusfull estimates machinery overheads stop end 

He rose deliberately from his chair and came towards 
them across the soundless carpet. A little of the official at- 
mosphere seemed to have fallen away from him with the 
Newspeak words, but his expression was grimmer than 213 

usual, as though he were not pleased at being disturbed. The 
terror that Winston already felt was suddenly shot through 
by a streak of ordinary embarrassment. It seemed to him 
quite possible that he had simply made a stupid mistake. 
For what evidence had he in reality that O'Brien was any 
kind of political conspirator? Nothing but a flash of the eyes 
and a single equivocal remark: beyond that, only his own 
secret imaginings, founded on a dream. He could not even 
fall back on the pretence that he had come to borrow the 
dictionary, because in that case Julia's presence was impos- 
sible to explain. As O'Brien passed the telescreen a thought 
seemed to strike him. He stopped, turned aside and pressed 
a switch on the wall. There was a sharp snap. The voice had 

Julia uttered a tiny sound, a sort of squeak of surprise. 
Even in the midst of his panic, Winston was too much taken 
aback to be able to hold his tongue. 

'You can turn it off!' he said. 

'Yes,' said O'Brien, 'we can turn it off. We have that privi- 

He was opposite them now. His solid form towered 
over the pair of them, and the expression on his face was 
still indecipherable. He was waiting, somewhat sternly, for 
Winston to speak, but about what? Even now it was quite 
conceivable that he was simply a busy man wondering ir- 
ritably why he had been interrupted. Nobody spoke. After 
the stopping of the telescreen the room seemed deadly si- 
lent. The seconds marched past, enormous. With difficulty 
Winston continued to keep his eyes fixed on O'Brien's. Then 


suddenly the grim face broke down into what might have 
been the beginnings of a smile. With his characteristic ges- 
ture O'Brien resettled his spectacles on his nose. 

'Shall I say it, or will you?' he said. 

'I will say it,' said Winston promptly. 'That thing is really 
turned off?' 

'Yes, everything is turned off. We are alone.' 

'We have come here because ' 

He paused, realizing for the first time the vagueness of 
his own motives. Since he did not in fact know what kind 
of help he expected from O'Brien, it was not easy to say why 
he had come here. He went on, conscious that what he was 
saying must sound both feeble and pretentious: 

'We believe that there is some kind of conspiracy, some 
kind of secret organization working against the Party, and 
that you are involved in it. We want to join it and work for it. 
We are enemies of the Party. We disbelieve in the principles 
of Ingsoc. We are thought-criminals. We are also adulter- 
ers. I tell you this because we want to put ourselves at your 
mercy. If you want us to incriminate ourselves in any other 
way, we are ready' 

He stopped and glanced over his shoulder, with the 
feeling that the door had opened. Sure enough, the little yel- 
low-faced servant had come in without knocking. Winston 
saw that he was carrying a tray with a decanter and glasses. 

'Martin is one of us,' said O'Brien impassively. 'Bring 
the drinks over here, Martin. Put them on the round table. 
Have we enough chairs? Then we may as well sit down and 
talk in comfort. Bring a chair for yourself, Martin. This is 

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business. You can stop being a servant for the next ten min- 

The little man sat down, quite at his ease, and yet still 
with a servant-like air, the air of a valet enjoying a priv- 
ilege. Winston regarded him out of the corner of his eye. 
It struck him that the man's whole life was playing a part, 
and that he felt it to be dangerous to drop his assumed per- 
sonality even for a moment. O'Brien took the decanter by 
the neck and filled up the glasses with a dark-red liquid. It 
aroused in Winston dim memories of something seen long 
ago on a wall or a hoarding — a vast bottle composed of elec- 
tric lights which seemed to move up and down and pour its 
contents into a glass. Seen from the top the stuff looked al- 
most black, but in the decanter it gleamed like a ruby. It had 
a sour-sweet smell. He saw Julia pick up her glass and sniff 
at it with frank curiosity. 

'It is called wine,' said O'Brien with a faint smile. 'You 
will have read about it in books, no doubt. Not much of it 
gets to the Outer Party, I am afraid.' His face grew solemn 
again, and he raised his glass: 'I think it is fitting that we 
should begin by drinking a health. To our Leader: To Em- 
manuel Goldstein.' 

Winston took up his glass with a certain eagerness. Wine 
was a thing he had read and dreamed about. Like the glass 
paperweight or Mr Charrington's half- remembered rhymes, 
it belonged to the vanished, romantic past, the olden time 
as he liked to call it in his secret thoughts. For some reason 
he had always thought of wine as having an intensely sweet 
taste, like that of blackberry jam and an immediate intoxi- 


eating effect. Actually, when he came to swallow it, the stuff 
was distinctly disappointing. The truth was that after years 
of gin-drinking he could barely taste it. He set down the 
empty glass. 

"Then there is such a person as Goldstein?' he said. 

'Yes, there is such a person, and he is alive. Where, I do 
not know.' 

'And the conspiracy — the organization? Is it real? It is not 
simply an invention of the Thought Police?' 

'No, it is real. The Brotherhood, we call it. You will never 
learn much more about the Brotherhood than that it exists 
and that you belong to it. I will come back to that pres- 
ently' He looked at his wrist-watch. 'It is unwise even for 
members of the Inner Party to turn off the telescreen for 
more than half an hour. You ought not to have come here 
together, and you will have to leave separately. You, com- 
rade' — he bowed his head to Julia — 'will leave first. We have 
about twenty minutes at our disposal. You will understand 
that I must start by asking you certain questions. In general 
terms, what are you prepared to do?' 

Anything that we are capable of,' said Winston. 

O'Brien had turned himself a little in his chair so that he 
was facing Winston. He almost ignored Julia, seeming to 
take it for granted that Winston could speak for her. For a 
moment the lids flitted down over his eyes. He began asking 
his questions in a low, expressionless voice, as though this 
were a routine, a sort of catechism, most of whose answers 
were known to him already. 

'You are prepared to give your lives?' 

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'You are prepared to commit murder?' 


'To commit acts of sabotage which may cause the death 
of hundreds of innocent people?' 


'To betray your country to foreign powers?' 


'You are prepared to cheat, to forge, to blackmail, to cor- 
rupt the minds of children, to distribute habit-forming 
drugs, to encourage prostitution, to disseminate venereal 
diseases — to do anything which is likely to cause demoral- 
ization and weaken the power of the Party?' 


'If, for example, it would somehow serve our interests to 
throw sulphuric acid in a child's face — are you prepared to 
do that?' 


'You are prepared to lose your identity and live out the 
rest of your life as a waiter or a dock- worker?' 


'You are prepared to commit suicide, if and when we or- 
der you to do so?' 


'You are prepared, the two of you, to separate and never 
see one another again?' 

'No!' broke in Julia. 

It appeared to Winston that a long time passed before 
he answered. For a moment he seemed even to have been 


deprived of the power of speech. His tongue worked sound- 
lessly, forming the opening syllables first of one word, then 
of the other, over and over again. Until he had said it, he 
did not know which word he was going to say. 'No,' he said 

'You did well to tell me,' said O'Brien. 'It is necessary for 
us to know everything.' 

He turned himself toward Julia and added in a voice 
with somewhat more expression in it: 

'Do you understand that even if he survives, it may be 
as a different person? We may be obliged to give him a new 
identity. His face, his movements, the shape of his hands, 
the colour of his hair — even his voice would be different. 
And you yourself might have become a different person. 
Our surgeons can alter people beyond recognition. Some- 
times it is necessary. Sometimes we even amputate a limb.' 

Winston could not help snatching another sidelong 
glance at Martin's Mongolian face. There were no scars 
that he could see. Julia had turned a shade paler, so that 
her freckles were showing, but she faced O'Brien boldly. She 
murmured something that seemed to be assent. 

'Good. Then that is settled.' 

There was a silver box of cigarettes on the table. With a 
rather absent-minded air O'Brien pushed them towards the 
others, took one himself, then stood up and began to pace 
slowly to and fro, as though he could think better standing. 
They were very good cigarettes, very thick and well-packed, 
with an unfamiliar silkiness in the paper. O'Brien looked at 
his wrist-watch again. 

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'You had better go back to your Pantry, Martin,' he said. 
'I shall switch on in a quarter of an hour. Take a good look 
at these comrades' faces before you go. You will be seeing 
them again. I may not.' 

Exactly as they had done at the front door, the little man's 
dark eyes flickered over their faces. There was not a trace 
of friendliness in his manner. He was memorizing their 
appearance, but he felt no interest in them, or appeared 
to feel none. It occurred to Winston that a synthetic face 
was perhaps incapable of changing its expression. Without 
speaking or giving any kind of salutation, Martin went out, 
closing the door silently behind him. O'Brien was strolling 
up and down, one hand in the pocket of his black overalls, 
the other holding his cigarette. 

'You understand,' he said, 'that you will be fighting in 
the dark. You will always be in the dark. You will receive 
orders and you will obey them, without knowing why. Later 
I shall send you a book from which you will learn the true 
nature of the society we live in, and the strategy by which 
we shall destroy it. When you have read the book, you will 
be full members of the Brotherhood. But between the gen- 
eral aims that we are fighting for and the immedi ate tasks 
of the moment, you will never know anything. I tell you 
that the Brotherhood exists, but I cannot tell you wheth- 
er it numbers a hundred members, or ten million. From 
your personal knowledge you will never be able to say that 
it numbers even as many as a dozen. You will have three 
or four contacts, who will be renewed from time to time 
as they disappear. As this was your first contact, it will be 


preserved. When you receive orders, they will come from 
me. If we find it necessary to communicate with you, it will 
be through Martin. When you are finally caught, you will 
confess. That is unavoidable. But you will have very little 
to confess, other than your own actions. You will not be 
able to betray more than a handful of unimportant people. 
Probably you will not even betray me. By that time I may be 
dead, or I shall have become a different person, with a dif- 
ferent face.' 

He continued to move to and fro over the soft carpet. In 
spite of the bulkiness of his body there was a remarkable 
grace in his movements. It came out even in the gesture 
with which he thrust a hand into his pocket, or manipu- 
lated a cigarette. More even than of strength, he gave an 
impression of confidence and of an understanding tinged 
by irony. However much in earnest he might be, he had 
nothing of the single-mindedness that belongs to a fanatic. 
When he spoke of murder, suicide, venereal disease, am- 
putated limbs, and altered faces, it was with a faint air of 
persiflage. 'This is unavoidable,' his voice seemed to say; 
'this is what we have got to do, unflinchingly. But this is 
not what we shall be doing when life is worth living again.' 
A wave of admiration, almost of worship, flowed out from 
Winston towards O'Brien. For the moment he had forgot- 
ten the shadowy figure of Goldstein. When you looked at 
O'Brien's powerful shoulders and his blunt- featured face, so 
ugly and yet so civilized, it was impossible to believe that 
he could be defeated. There was no stratagem that he was 
not equal to, no danger that he could not foresee. Even Julia 

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seemed to be impressed. She had let her cigarette go out and 
was listening intently. O'Brien went on: 

'You will have heard rumours of the existence of the 
Brotherhood. No doubt you have formed your own picture 
of it. You have imagined, probably, a huge underworld of 
conspirators, meeting secretly in cellars, scribbling mes- 
sages on walls, recognizing one another by codewords or by 
special movements of the hand. Nothing of the kind exists. 
The members of the Brotherhood have no way of recogniz- 
ing one another, and it is impossible for any one member to 
be aware of the identity of more than a few others. Gold- 
stein himself, if he fell into the hands of the Thought Police, 
could not give them a complete list of members, or any in- 
formation that would lead them to a complete list. No such 
list exists. The Brotherhood cannot be wiped out because it 
is not an organization in the ordinary sense. Nothing holds 
it together except an idea which is indestructible. You will 
never have anything to sustain you, except the idea. You 
will get no comradeship and no encouragement. When fi- 
nally you are caught, you will get no help. We never help 
our members. At most, when it is absolutely necessary that 
someone should be silenced, we are occasionally able to 
smuggle a razor blade into a prisoner's cell. You will have 
to get used to living without results and without hope. You 
will work for a while, you will be caught, you will confess, 
and then you will die. Those are the only results that you 
will ever see. There is no possibility that any perceptible 
change will happen within our own lifetime. We are the 
dead. Our only true life is in the future. We shall take part 


in it as handfuls of dust and splinters of bone. But how far 
away that future may be, there is no knowing. It might be 
a thousand years. At present nothing is possible except to 
extend the area of sanity little by little. We cannot act col- 
lectively. We can only spread our knowledge outwards from 
individual to individual, generation after generation. In the 
face of the Thought Police there is no other way' 

He halted and looked for the third time at his wrist- 

'It is almost time for you to leave, comrade,' he said to Ju- 
lia. 'Wait. The decanter is still half full.' 

He filled the glasses and raised his own glass by the 

'What shall it be this time?' he said, still with the same 
faint suggestion of irony. 'To the confusion of the Thought 
Police? To the death of Big Brother? To humanity? To the 

'To the past,' said Winston. 

'The past is more important,' agreed O'Brien gravely. 

They emptied their glasses, and a moment later Julia 
stood up to go. O'Brien took a small box from the top of a 
cabinet and handed her a flat white tablet which he told her 
to place on her tongue. It was important, he said, not to go 
out smelling of wine: the lift attendants were very obser- 
vant. As soon as the door had shut behind her he appeared 
to forget her existence. He took another pace or two up and 
down, then stopped. 

'There are details to be settled,' he said. 'I assume that 
you have a hiding-place of some kind?' 223 

Winston explained about the room over Mr Char- 
rington's shop. 

"That will do for the moment. Later we will arrange 
something else for you. It is important to change one's hid- 
ing-place frequently. Meanwhile I shall send you a copy of 
THE BOOK' — even O'Brien, Winston noticed, seemed to 
pronounce the words as though they were in italics — 'Gold- 
stein's book, you understand, as soon as possible. It may 
be some days before I can get hold of one. There are not 
many in existence, as you can imagine. The Thought Police 
hunt them down and destroy them almost as fast as we can 
produce them. It makes very little difference. The book is 
indestructible. If the last copy were gone, we could repro- 
duce it almost word for word. Do you carry a brief-case to 
work with you?' he added. 

'As a rule, yes.' 

'What is it like?' 

'Black, very shabby. With two straps.' 

'Black, two straps, very shabby — good. One day in the 
fairly near future — I cannot give a date — one of the messag- 
es among your morning's work will contain a misprinted 
word, and you will have to ask for a repeat. On the following 
day you will go to work without your brief-case. At some 
time during the day, in the street, a man will touch you on 
the arm and say 'I think you have dropped your brief-case.' 
The one he gives you will contain a copy of Goldstein's book. 
You will return it within fourteen days.' 

They were silent for a moment. 

'There are a couple of minutes before you need go,' said 


O'Brien. 'We shall meet again — if we do meet again ' 

Winston looked up at him. 'In the place where there is no 
darkness?' he said hesitantly. 

O'Brien nodded without appearance of surprise. 'In the 
place where there is no darkness,' he said, as though he had 
recognized the allusion. 'And in the meantime, is there any- 
thing that you wish to say before you leave? Any message? 
Any question?.' 

Winston thought. There did not seem to be any further 
question that he wanted to ask: still less did he feel any 
impulse to utter high-sounding generalities. Instead of any- 
thing directly connected with O'Brien or the Brotherhood, 
there came into his mind a sort of composite picture of the 
dark bedroom where his mother had spent her last days, 
and the little room over Mr Charrington's shop, and the 
glass paperweight, and the steel engraving in its rosewood 
frame. Almost at random he said: 

'Did you ever happen to hear an old rhyme that begins 
'Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St Clement's'?' 

Again O'Brien nodded. With a sort of grave courtesy he 
completed the stanza: 

'Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St Clement's, 
You owe me three farthings, say the bells of St Martin's, 
When willyoupay me? say the bells of Old Bailey, 
When I grow rich, say the bells of Shoreditch.' 

'You knew the last line!' said Winston. 

'Yes, I knew the last line. And now, I am afraid, it is time 225 

for you to go. But wait. You had better let me give you one 
of these tablets.' 

As Winston stood up O'Brien held out a hand. His pow- 
erful grip crushed the bones of Winston's palm. At the 
door Winston looked back, but O'Brien seemed already to 
be in process of putting him out of mind. He was waiting 
with his hand on the switch that controlled the telescreen. 
Beyond him Winston could see the writing-table with its 
green-shaded lamp and the speakwrite and the wire baskets 
deep-laden with papers. The incident was closed. Within 
thirty seconds, it occurred to him, O'Brien would be back at 
his interrupted and important work on behalf of the Party. 


Chapter 9 

Winston was gelatinous with fatigue. Gelatinous was 
the right word. It had come into his head spontane- 
ously. His body seemed to have not only the weakness of a 
jelly, but its translucency He felt that if he held up his hand 
he would be able to see the light through it. All the blood 
and lymph had been drained out of him by an enormous 
debauch of work, leaving only a frail structure of nerves, 
bones, and skin. All sensations seemed to be magnified. His 
overalls fretted his shoulders, the pavement tickled his feet, 
even the opening and closing of a hand was an effort that 
made his joints creak. 

He had worked more than ninety hours in five days. So 
had everyone else in the Ministry. Now it was all over, and 
he had literally nothing to do, no Party work of any descrip - 
tion, until tomorrow morning. He could spend six hours in 
the hiding-place and another nine in his own bed. Slowly, in 
mild afternoon sunshine, he walked up a dingy street in the 
direction of Mr Charrington's shop, keeping one eye open 
for the patrols, but irrationally convinced that this after- 
noon there was no danger of anyone interfering with him. 
The heavy brief-case that he was carrying bumped against 
his knee at each step, sending a tingling sensation up and 
down the skin of his leg. Inside it was the book, which he 
had now had in his possession for six days and had not yet 

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opened, nor even looked at. 

On the sixth day of Hate Week, after the processions, the 
speeches, the shouting, the singing, the banners, the posters, 
the films, the waxworks, the rolling of drums and squeal- 
ing of trumpets, the tramp of marching feet, the grinding 
of the caterpillars of tanks, the roar of massed planes, the 
booming of guns — after six days of this, when the great or- 
gasm was quivering to its climax and the general hatred of 
Eurasia had boiled up into such delirium that if the crowd 
could have got their hands on the 2,000 Eurasian war-crim- 
inals who were to be publicly hanged on the last day of the 
proceedings, they would unquestionably have torn them 
to pieces — at just this moment it had been announced that 
Oceania was not after all at war with Eurasia. Oceania was 
at war with Eastasia. Eurasia was an ally. 

There was, of course, no admission that any change had 
taken place. Merely it became known, with extreme sud- 
denness and everywhere at once, that Eastasia and not 
Eurasia was the enemy. Winston was taking part in a dem- 
onstration in one of the central London squares at the 
moment when it happened. It was night, and the white fac- 
es and the scarlet banners were luridly floodlit. The square 
was packed with several thousand people, including a block 
of about a thousand schoolchildren in the uniform of the 
Spies. On a scarlet- draped platform an orator of the Inner 
Party, a small lean man with disproportionately long arms 
and a large bald skull over which a few lank locks strag- 
gled, was haranguing the crowd. A little Rumpelstiltskin 
figure, contorted with hatred, he gripped the neck of the 


microphone with one hand while the other, enormous at 
the end of a bony arm, clawed the air menacingly above his 
head. His voice, made metallic by the amplifiers, boomed 
forth an endless catalogue of atrocities, massacres, depor- 
tations, lootings, rapings, torture of prisoners, bombing 
of civilians, lying propaganda, unjust aggressions, broken 
treaties. It was almost impossible to listen to him without 
being first convinced and then maddened. At every few mo- 
ments the fury of the crowd boiled over and the voice of the 
speaker was drowned by a wild beast-like roaring that rose 
uncontrollably from thousands of throats. The most sav- 
age yells of all came from the schoolchildren. The speech 
had been proceeding for perhaps twenty minutes when a 
messenger hurried on to the platform and a scrap of paper 
was slipped into the speaker's hand. He unrolled and read it 
without pausing in his speech. Nothing altered in his voice 
or manner, or in the content of what he was saying, but sud- 
denly the names were different. Without words said, a wave 
of understanding rippled through the crowd. Oceania was 
at war with Eastasia! The next moment there was a tremen- 
dous commotion. The banners and posters with which the 
square was decorated were all wrong! Quite half of them 
had the wrong faces on them. It was sabotage! The agents of 
Goldstein had been at work! There was a riotous interlude 
while posters were ripped from the walls, banners torn to 
shreds and trampled underfoot. The Spies performed prod- 
igies of activity in clambering over the rooftops and cutting 
the streamers that fluttered from the chimneys. But within 
two or three minutes it was all over. The orator, still gripping 

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the neck of the microphone, his shoulders hunched forward, 
his free hand clawing at the air, had gone straight on with 
his speech. One minute more, and the feral roars of rage 
were again bursting from the crowd. The Hate continued 
exactly as before, except that the target had been changed. 

The thing that impressed Winston in looking back was 
that the speaker had switched from one line to the other ac- 
tually in midsentence, not only without a pause, but without 
even breaking the syntax. But at the moment he had other 
things to preoccupy him. It was during the moment of dis- 
order while the posters were being torn down that a man 
whose face he did not see had tapped him on the shoulder 
and said, 'Excuse me, I think you've dropped your brief- 
case.' He took the brief-case abstractedly, without speaking. 
He knew that it would be days before he had an opportuni- 
ty to look inside it. The instant that the demonstration was 
over he went straight to the Ministry of Truth, though the 
time was now nearly twenty-three hours. The entire staff 
of the Ministry had done likewise. The orders already issu- 
ing from the telescreen, recalling them to their posts, were 
hardly necessary. 

Oceania was at war with Eastasia: Oceania had always 
been at war with Eastasia. A large part of the political lit- 
erature of five years was now completely obsolete. Reports 
and records of all kinds, newspapers, books, pamphlets, 
films, sound-tracks, photographs — all had to be rectified 
at lightning speed. Although no directive was ever issued, 
it was known that the chiefs of the Department intended 
that within one week no reference to the war with Eurasia, 


or the alliance with Eastasia, should remain in existence 
anywhere. The work was overwhelming, all the more so 
because the processes that it involved could not be called 
by their true names. Everyone in the Records Department 
worked eighteen hours in the twenty-four, with two three- 
hour snatches of sleep. Mattresses were brought up from 
the cellars and pitched all over the corridors: meals con- 
sisted of sandwiches and Victory Coffee wheeled round 
on trolleys by attendants from the canteen. Each time that 
Winston broke off for one of his spells of sleep he tried to 
leave his desk clear of work, and each time that he crawled 
back sticky- eyed and aching, it was to find that another 
shower of paper cylinders had covered the desk like a snow- 
drift, halfburying the speakwrite and overflowing on to the 
floor, so that the first job was always to stack them into a 
neat enough pile to give him room to work. What was worst 
of all was that the work was by no means purely mechanical. 
Often it was enough merely to substitute one name for an- 
other, but any detailed report of events demanded care and 
imagination. Even the geographical knowledge that one 
needed in transferring the war from one part of the world 
to another was considerable. 

By the third day his eyes ached unbearably and his 
spectacles needed wiping every few minutes. It was like 
struggling with some crushing physical task, something 
which one had the right to refuse and which one was never- 
theless neurotically anxious to accomplish. In so far as he 
had time to remember it, he was not troubled by the fact that 
every word he murmured into the speakwrite, every stroke 

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of his ink-pencil, was a deliberate lie. He was as anxious as 
anyone else in the Department that the forgery should be 
perfect. On the morning of the sixth day the dribble of cyl- 
inders slowed down. For as much as half an hour nothing 
came out of the tube; then one more cylinder, then nothing. 
Everywhere at about the same time the work was easing off. 
A deep and as it were secret sigh went through the Depart- 
ment. A mighty deed, which could never be mentioned, had 
been achieved. It was now impossible for any human being 
to prove by documentary evidence that the war with Eurasia 
had ever happened. At twelve hundred it was unexpectedly 
announced that all workers in the Ministry were free till 
tomorrow morning. Winston, still carrying the brief-case 
containing the book, which had remained between his feet 
while he worked and under his body while he slept, went 
home, shaved himself, and almost fell asleep in his bath, al- 
though the water was barely more than tepid. 

With a sort of voluptuous creaking in his joints he 
climbed the stair above Mr Charrington's shop. He was 
tired, but not sleepy any longer. He opened the window, lit 
the dirty little oilstove and put on a pan of water for coffee. 
Julia would arrive presently: meanwhile there was the book. 
He sat down in the sluttish armchair and undid the straps 
of the brief-case. 

A heavy black volume, amateurishly bound, with no 
name or title on the cover. The print also looked slightly 
irregular. The pages were worn at the edges, and fell apart, 
easily, as though the book had passed through many hands. 
The inscription on the title-page ran: 




Emmanuel Goldstein 

Winston began reading: 

Chapter I 

Ignorance is Strength 

Throughout recorded time, and probably since the end 
of the Neolithic Age, there have been three kinds of people 
in the world, the High, the Middle, and the Low. They have 
been subdivided in many ways, they have borne count- 
less different names, and their relative numbers, as well as 
their attitude towards one another, have varied from age to 
age: but the essential structure of society has never altered. 
Even after enormous upheavals and seemingly irrevocable 
changes, the same pattern has always reasserted itself, just 
as a gyroscope will always return to equilibrium, however 
far it is pushed one way or the other. 

The aims of these groups are entirely irreconcilable... 

Winston stopped reading, chiefly in order to appreciate 
the fact that he was reading, in comfort and safety. He was 
alone: no telescreen, no ear at the keyhole, no nervous im- 
pulse to glance over his shoulder or cover the page with his 
hand. The sweet summer air played against his cheek. From 
somewhere far away there floated the faint shouts of chil- 233 

dren: in the room itself there was no sound except the insect 
voice of the clock. He settled deeper into the arm-chair and 
put his feet up on the fender. It was bliss, it was eternity. 
Suddenly, as one sometimes does with a book of which one 
knows that one will ultimately read and re-read every word, 
he opened it at a different place and found himself at Chap- 
ter III. He went on reading: 

Chapter III 

War is Peace 

The splitting up of the world into three great super-states 
was an event which could be and indeed was foreseen 
before the middle of the twentieth century. With the ab- 
sorption of Europe by Russia and of the British Empire by 
the United States, two of the three existing powers, Eurasia 
and Oceania, were already effectively in being. The third, 
Eastasia, only emerged as a distinct unit after another de- 
cade of confused fighting. The frontiers between the three 
super-states are in some places arbitrary, and in others they 
fluctuate according to the fortunes of war, but in general 
they follow geographical lines. Eurasia comprises the whole 
of the northern part of the European and Asiatic land-mass, 
from Portugal to the Bering Strait. Oceania comprises the 
Americas, the Atlantic islands including the British Isles, 
Australasia, and the southern portion of Africa. Eastasia, 
smaller than the others and with a less definite western 
frontier, comprises China and the countries to the south of 


it, the Japanese islands and a large but fluctuating portion 
of Manchuria, Mongolia, and Tibet. 

In one combination or another, these three super-states 
are permanently at war, and have been so for the past twen- 
ty-five years. War, however, is no longer the desperate, 
annihilating struggle that it was in the early decades of the 
twentieth century. It is a warfare of limited aims between 
combatants who are unable to destroy one another, have no 
material cause for fighting and are not divided by any genu- 
ine ideological difference This is not to say that either the 
conduct of war, or the prevailing attitude towards it, has be- 
come less bloodthirsty or more chivalrous. On the contrary, 
war hysteria is continuous and universal in all countries, 
and such acts as raping, looting, the slaughter of children, 
the reduction of whole populations to slavery, and reprisals 
against prisoners which extend even to boiling and burying 
alive, are looked upon as normal, and, when they are com- 
mitted by one's own side and not by the enemy, meritorious. 
But in a physical sense war involves very small numbers of 
people, mostly highly-trained specialists, and causes com- 
paratively few casualties. The fighting, when there is any, 
takes place on the vague frontiers whose whereabouts the 
average man can only guess at, or round the Floating For- 
tresses which guard strategic spots on the sea lanes. In the 
centres of civilization war means no more than a contin- 
uous shortage of consumption goods, and the occasional 
crash of a rocket bomb which may cause a few scores of 
deaths. War has in fact changed its character. More exactly, 
the reasons for which war is waged have changed in their 

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order of importance. Motives which were already present 
to some small extent in the great wars of the early twentieth 
centuury have now become dominant and are consciously 
recognized and acted upon. 

To understand the nature of the present war — for in spite 
of the regrouping which occurs every few years, it is al- 
ways the same war — one must realize in the first place that 
it is impossible for it to be decisive. None of the three su- 
per-states could be definitively conquered even by the other 
two in combination. They are too evenly matched, and their 
natural defences are too formidable. Eurasia is protected by 
its vast land spaces, Oceania by the width of the Atlantic 
and the Pacific, Eastasia by the fecundity and indus tri- 
ousness of its inhabitants. Secondly, there is no longer, in 
a material sense, anything to fight about. With the estab- 
lishment of self-contained economies, in which production 
and consumption are geared to one another, the scramble 
for markets which was a main cause of previous wars has 
come to an end, while the competition for raw materials is 
no longer a matter of life and death. In any case each of the 
three super-states is so vast that it can obtain almost all the 
materials that it needs within its own boundaries. In so far 
as the war has a direct economic purpose, it is a war for la- 
bour power. Between the frontiers of the super-states, and 
not permanently in the possession of any of them, there lies 
a rough quadrilateral with its corners at Tangier, Brazza- 
ville, Darwin, and Hong Kong, containing within it about 
a fifth of the population of the earth. It is for the posses- 
sion of these thickly-populated regions, and of the northern 

236 1984 

ice-cap, that the three powers are constantly struggling. In 
practice no one power ever controls the whole of the disput- 
ed area. Portions of it are constantly changing hands, and 
it is the chance of seizing this or that fragment by a sud- 
den stroke of treachery that dictates the endless changes of 

All of the disputed territories contain valuable minerals, 
and some of them yield important vegetable products such 
as rubber which in colder climates it is necessary to syn- 
thesize by comparatively expensive methods. But above all 
they contain a bottomless reserve of cheap labour. Which- 
ever power controls equatorial Africa, or the countries 
of the Middle East, or Southern India, or the Indonesian 
Archipelago, disposes also of the bodies of scores or hun- 
dreds of millions of ill-paid and hard-working coolies. The 
inhabitants of these areas, reduced more or less openly to 
the status of slaves, pass continually from conqueror to con- 
queror, and are expended like so much coal or oil in the 
race to turn out more armaments, to capture more territory, 
to control more labour power, to turn out more armaments, 
to capture more territory, and so on indefinitely. It should 
be noted that the fighting never really moves beyond the 
edges of the disputed areas. The frontiers of Eurasia flow 
back and forth between the basin of the Congo and the 
northern shore of the Mediterranean; the islands of the In- 
dian Ocean and the Pacific are constantly being captured 
and recaptured by Oceania or by Eastasia; in Mongolia the 
dividing line between Eurasia and Eastasia is never stable; 
round the Pole all three powers lay claim to enormous terri- 

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tories which in fact are largely unihabited and unexplored: 
but the balance of power always remains roughly even, and 
the territory which forms the heartland of each super-state 
always remains inviolate. Moreover, the labour of the ex- 
ploited peoples round the Equator is not really necessary to 
the world's economy. They add nothing to the wealth of the 
world, since whatever they produce is used for purposes of 
war, and the object of waging a war is always to be in a bet- 
ter position in which to wage another war. By their labour 
the slave populations allow the tempo of continuous war- 
fare to be speeded up. But if they did not exist, the structure 
of world society, and the process by which it maintains it- 
self, would not be essentially different. 

The primary aim of modern warfare (in accordance 
with the principles of DOUBLETHINK, this aim is simul- 
taneously recognized and not recognized by the directing 
brains of the Inner Party) is to use up the products of the 
machine without raising the general standard of living. 
Ever since the end of the nineteenth century, the problem of 
what to do with the surplus of consumption goods has been 
latent in industrial society. At present, when few human be- 
ings even have enough to eat, this problem is obviously not 
urgent, and it might not have become so, even if no artifi- 
cial processes of destruction had been at work. The world 
of today is a bare, hungry, dilapidated place compared with 
the world that existed before 1914, and still more so if com- 
pared with the imaginary future to which the people of that 
period looked forward. In the early twentieth century, the 
vision of a future society unbelievably rich, leisured, orderly, 

238 1984 

and efficient — a glittering antiseptic world of glass and steel 
and snow-white concrete — was part of the consciousness of 
nearly every literate person. Science and technology were 
developing at a prodigious speed, and it seemed natural to 
assume that they would go on developing. This failed to 
happen, partly because of the impoverishment caused by a 
long series of wars and revolutions, partly because scientific 
and technical progress depended on the empirical habit of 
thought, which could not survive in a strictly regimented 
society. As a whole the world is more primitive today than it 
was fifty years ago. Certain backward areas have advanced, 
and various devices, always in some way connected with 
warfare and police espionage, have been developed, but 
experiment and invention have largely stopped, and the 
ravages of the atomic war of the nineteen-fifties have nev- 
er been fully repaired. Nevertheless the dangers inherent 
in the machine are still there. From the moment when the 
machine first made its appearance it was clear to all think- 
ing people that the need for human drudgery, and therefore 
to a great extent for human inequality, had disappeared. If 
the machine were used deliberately for that end, hunger, 
overwork, dirt, illiteracy, and disease could be eliminated 
within a few generations. And in fact, without being used 
for any such purpose, but by a sort of automatic process — 
by producing wealth which it was sometimes impossible not 
to distribute — the machine did raise the living standards 
of the average humand being very greatly over a period of 
about fifty years at the end of the nineteenth and the begin- 
ning of the twentieth centuries. 

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But it was also clear that an all-round increase in wealth 
threatened the destruction — indeed, in some sense was the 
destruction — of a hierarchical society. In a world in which 
everyone worked short hours, had enough to eat, lived in a 
house with a bathroom and a refrigerator, and possessed a 
motor-car or even an aeroplane, the most obvious and per- 
haps the most important form of inequality would already 
have disappeared. If it once became general, wealth would 
confer no distinction. It was possible, no doubt, to imagine 
a society in which WEALTH, in the sense of personal pos- 
sessions and luxuries, should be evenly distributed, while 
POWER remained in the hands of a small privileged caste. 
But in practice such a society could not long remain sta- 
ble. For if leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the 
great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by 
poverty would become literate and would learn to think for 
themselves; and when once they had done this, they would 
sooner or later realize that the privileged minority had no 
function, and they would sweep it away. In the long run, 
a hierarchical society was only possible on a basis of pov- 
erty and ignorance. To return to the agricultural past, as 
some thinkers about the beginning of the twentieth cen- 
tury dreamed of doing, was not a practicable solution. It 
conflicted with the tendency towards mechanization which 
had become quasi-instinctive throughout almost the whole 
world, and moreover, any country which remained indus- 
trially backward was helpless in a military sense and was 
bound to be dominated, directly or indirectly, by its more 
advanced rivals. 


Nor was it a satisfactory solution to keep the masses in 
poverty by restricting the output of goods. This happened 
to a great extent during the final phase of capitalism, rough- 
ly between 1920 and 1940. The economy of many countries 
was allowed to stagnate, land went out of cultivation, capital 
equipment was not added to, great blocks of the popula- 
tion were prevented from working and kept half alive by 
State charity. But this, too, entailed military weakness, and 
since the privations it inflicted were obviously unneces- 
sary, it made opposition inevitable. The problem was how 
to keep the wheels of industry turning without increasing 
the real wealth of the world. Goods must be produced, but 
they must not be distributed. And in practice the only way 
of achieving this was by continuous warfare. 

The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of 
human lives, but of the products of human labour. War is a 
way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, 
or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might 
otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and 
hence, in the long run, too intelligent. Even when weapons 
of war are not actually destroyed, their manufacture is still 
a convenient way of expending labour power without pro- 
ducing anything that can be consumed. A Floating Fortress, 
for example, has locked up in it the labour that would build 
several hundred cargo-ships. Ultimately it is scrapped as 
obsolete, never having brought any material benefit to any- 
body, and with further enormous labours another Floating 
Fortress is built. In principle the war effort is always so 
planned as to eat up any surplus that might exist after meet- 

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ing the bare needs of the population. In practice the needs 
of the population are always underestimated, with the re- 
sult that there is a chronic shortage of half the necessities 
of life; but this is looked on as an advantage. It is deliberate 
policy to keep even the favoured groups somewhere near 
the brink of hardship, because a general state of scarcity 
increases the importance of small privileges and thus mag- 
nifies the distinction between one group and another. By 
the standards of the early twentieth century, even a mem- 
ber of the Inner Party lives an austere, laborious kind of life. 
Nevertheless, the few luxuries that he does enjoy his large, 
well-appointed flat, the better texture of his clothes, the bet- 
ter quality of his food and drink and tobacco, his two or 
three servants, his private motor-car or helicopter — set him 
in a different world from a member of the Outer Party, and 
the members of the Outer Party have a similar advantage 
in comparison with the submerged masses whom we call 
'the proles'. The social atmosphere is that of a besieged city, 
where the possession of a lump of horseflesh makes the dif- 
ference between wealth and poverty. And at the same time 
the consciousness of being at war, and therefore in danger, 
makes the handing-over of all power to a small caste seem 
the natural, unavoidable condition of survival. 

War, it will be seen, accomplishes the necessary destruc- 
tion, but accomplishes it in a psychologically acceptable way. 
In principle it would be quite simple to waste the surplus 
labour of the world by building temples and pyramids, by 
digging holes and filling them up again, or even by produc- 
ing vast quantities of goods and then setting fire to them. 


But this would provide only the economic and not the emo- 
tional basis for a hierarchical society. What is concerned 
here is not the morale of masses, whose attitude is unim- 
portant so long as they are kept steadily at work, but the 
morale of the Party itself. Even the humblest Party member 
is expected to be competent, industrious, and even intel- 
ligent within narrow limits, but it is also necessary that he 
should be a credulous and ignorant fanatic whose prevailing 
moods are fear, hatred, adulation, and orgiastic triumph. In 
other words it is necessary that he should have the mental- 
ity appropriate to a state of war. It does not matter whether 
the war is actually happening, and, since no decisive victory 
is possible, it does not matter whether the war is going well 
or badly. All that is needed is that a state of war should ex- 
ist. The splitting of the intelligence which the Party requires 
of its members, and which is more easily achieved in an at- 
mosphere of war, is now almost universal, but the higher 
up the ranks one goes, the more marked it becomes. It is 
precisely in the Inner Party that war hysteria and hatred of 
the enemy are strongest. In his capacity as an administra- 
tor, it is often necessary for a member of the Inner Party to 
know that this or that item of war news is untruthful, and 
he may often be aware that the entire war is spurious and is 
either not happening or is being waged for purposes quite 
other than the declared ones: but such knowledge is easily 
neutralized by the technique of DOUBLETHINK. Mean- 
while no Inner Party member wavers for an instant in his 
mystical belief that the war is real, and that it is bound to 
end victoriously, with Oceania the undisputed master of 

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the entire world. 

All members of the Inner Party believe in this coming 
conquest as an article of faith. It is to be achieved either by 
gradually acquiring more and more territory and so build- 
ing up an overwhelming preponderance of power, or by 
the discovery of some new and unanswerable weapon. The 
search for new weapons continues unceasingly, and is one 
of the very few remaining activities in which the inventive 
or speculative type of mind can find any outlet. In Ocea- 
nia at the present day, Science, in the old sense, has almost 
ceased to exist. In Newspeak there is no word for 'Science'. 
The empirical method of thought, on which all the scien- 
tific achievements of the past were founded, is opposed to 
the most fundamental principles of Ingsoc. And even tech- 
nological progress only happens when its products can in 
some way be used for the diminution of human liberty. In 
all the useful arts the world is either standing still or go- 
ing backwards. The fields are cultivated with horse-ploughs 
while books are written by machinery. But in matters of 
vital importance — meaning, in effect, war and police espio- 
nage — the empirical approach is still encouraged, or at least 
tolerated. The two aims of the Party are to conquer the whole 
surface of the earth and to extinguish once and for all the 
possibility of independent thought. There are therefore two 
great problems which the Party is concerned to solve. One 
is how to discover, against his will, what another human be- 
ing is thinking, and the other is how to kill several hundred 
million people in a few seconds without giving warning be- 
forehand. In so far as scientific research still continues, this 


is its subject matter. The scientist of today is either a mixture 
of psychologist and inquisitor, studying with real ordinary 
minuteness the meaning of facial expressions, gestures, and 
tones of voice, and testing the truth-producing effects of 
drugs, shock therapy, hypnosis, and physical torture; or he 
is chemist, physicist, or biologist concerned only with such 
branches of his special subject as are relevant to the taking 
of life. In the vast laboratories of the Ministry of Peace, and 
in the experimental stations hidden in the Brazilian forests, 
or in the Australian desert, or on lost islands of the Ant- 
arctic, the teams of experts are indefatigably at work. Some 
are concerned simply with planning the logistics of future 
wars; others devise larger and larger rocket bombs, more 
and more powerful explosives, and more and more impen- 
etrable armour-plating; others search for new and deadlier 
gases, or for soluble poisons capable of being produced in 
such quantities as to destroy the vegetation of whole con- 
tinents, or for breeds of disease germs immunized against 
all possible antibodies; others strive to produce a vehicle 
that shall bore its way under the soil like a submarine un- 
der the water, or an aeroplane as independent of its base 
as a sailing-ship; others explore even remoter possibilities 
such as focusing the sun's rays through lenses suspended 
thousands of kilometres away in space, or producing artifi- 
cial earthquakes and tidal waves by tapping the heat at the 
earth's centre. 

But none of these projects ever comes anywhere near re- 
alization, and none of the three super-states ever gains a 
significant lead on the others. What is more remarkable is 

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that all three powers already possess, in the atomic bomb, 
a weapon far more powerful than any that their present 
researches are likely to discover. Although the Party, ac- 
cording to its habit, claims the invention for itself, atomic 
bombs first appeared as early as the nineteen-forties, and 
were first used on a large scale about ten years later. At that 
time some hundreds of bombs were dropped on indus- 
trial centres, chiefly in European Russia, Western Europe, 
and North America. The effect was to convince the ruling 
groups of all countries that a few more atomic bombs would 
mean the end of organized society, and hence of their own 
power. Thereafter, although no formal agreement was ever 
made or hinted at, no more bombs were dropped. All three 
powers merely continue to produce atomic bombs and store 
them up against the decisive opportunity which they all 
believe will come sooner or later. And meanwhile the art 
of war has remained almost stationary for thirty or forty 
years. Helicopters are more used than they were formerly, 
bombing planes have been largely superseded by self-pro- 
pelled projectiles, and the fragile movable battleship has 
given way to the almost unsinkable Floating Fortress; but 
otherwise there has been little development. The tank, the 
submarine, the torpedo, the machine gun, even the rifle and 
the hand grenade are still in use. And in spite of the end- 
less slaughters reported in the Press and on the telescreens, 
the desperate battles of earlier wars, in which hundreds of 
thousands or even millions of men were often killed in a 
few weeks, have never been repeated. 

None of the three super-states ever attempts any ma- 

246 1984 

noeuvre which involves the risk of serious defeat. When 
any large operation is undertaken, it is usually a surprise 
attack against an ally. The strategy that all three powers are 
following, or pretend to themselves that they are following, 
is the same. The plan is, by a combination of fighting, bar- 
gaining, and well-timed strokes of treachery, to acquire a 
ring of bases completely encircling one or other of the ri- 
val states, and then to sign a pact of friendship with that 
rival and remain on peaceful terms for so many years as to 
lull suspicion to sleep. During this time rockets loaded with 
atomic bombs can be assembled at all the strategic spots; 
finally they will all be fired simultaneously, with effects so 
devastating as to make retaliation impossible. It will then be 
time to sign a pact of friendship with the remaining world- 
power, in preparation for another attack. This scheme, it is 
hardly necessary to say, is a mere daydream, impossible of 
realization. Moreover, no fighting ever occurs except in the 
disputed areas round the Equator and the Pole: no invasion 
of enemy territory is ever undertaken. This explains the fact 
that in some places the frontiers between the superstates 
are arbitrary. Eurasia, for example, could easily conquer the 
British Isles, which are geographically part of Europe, or on 
the other hand it would be possible for Oceania to push its 
frontiers to the Rhine or even to the Vistula. But this would 
violate the principle, followed on all sides though never 
formulated, of cultural integrity. If Oceania were to con- 
quer the areas that used once to be known as France and 
Germany, it would be necessary either to exterminate the 
inhabitants, a task of great physical difficulty, or to assimi- 

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late a population of about a hundred million people, who, 
so far as technical development goes, are roughly on the 
Oceanic level. The problem is the same for all three super- 
states. It is absolutely necessary to their structure that there 
should be no contact with foreigners, except, to a limited 
extent, with war prisoners and coloured slaves. Even the of- 
ficial ally of the moment is always regarded with the darkest 
suspicion. War prisoners apart, the average citizen of Ocea- 
nia never sets eyes on a citizen of either Eurasia or Eastasia, 
and he is forbidden the knowledge of foreign languages. If 
he were allowed contact with foreigners he would discover 
that they are creatures similar to himself and that most of 
what he has been told about them is lies. The sealed world 
in which he lives would be broken, and the fear, hatred, 
and self-righteousness on which his morale depends might 
evaporate. It is therefore realized on all sides that however 
often Persia, or Egypt, or Java, or Ceylon may change hands, 
the main frontiers must never be crossed by anything ex- 
cept bombs. 

Under this lies a fact never mentioned aloud, but tacitly 
understood and acted upon: namely, that the conditions of 
life in all three super-states are very much the same. In Oce- 
ania the prevailing philosophy is called Ingsoc, in Eurasia 
it is called Neo-Bolshevism, and in Eastasia it is called by 
a Chinese name usually translated as Death-Worship, but 
perhaps better rendered as Obliteration of the Self. The citi- 
zen of Oceania is not allowed to know anything of the tenets 
of the other two philosophies, but he is taught to execrate 
them as barbarous outrages upon morality and common 

248 1984 

sense. Actually the three philosophies are barely distin- 
guishable, and the social systems which they support are 
not distinguishable at all. Everywhere there is the same py- 
ramidal structure, the same worship of semi-divine leader, 
the same economy existing by and for continuous warfare. 
It follows that the three super-states not only cannot con- 
quer one another, but would gain no advantage by doing 
so. On the contrary, so long as they remain in conflict they 
prop one another up, like three sheaves of corn. And, as 
usual, the ruling groups of all three powers are simultane- 
ously aware and unaware of what they are doing. Their lives 
are dedicated to world conquest, but they also know that it 
is necessary that the war should continue everlastingly and 
without victory. Meanwhile the fact that there IS no danger 
of conquest makes possible the denial of reality which is the 
special feature of Ingsoc and its rival systems of thought. 
Here it is necessary to repeat what has been said earlier, that 
by becoming continuous war has fundamentally changed 
its character. 

In past ages, a war, almost by definition, was something 
that sooner or later came to an end, usually in unmistak- 
able victory or defeat. In the past, also, war was one of the 
main instruments by which human societies were kept in 
touch with physical reality. All rulers in all ages have tried 
to impose a false view of the world upon their followers, but 
they could not afford to encourage any illusion that tended 
to impair military efficiency So long as defeat meant the 
loss of independence, or some other result generally held 
to be undesirable, the precautions against defeat had to be 

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serious. Physical facts could not be ignored. In philosophy, 
or religion, or ethics, or politics, two and two might make 
five, but when one was designing a gun or an aeroplane they 
had to make four. Inefficient nations were always conquered 
sooner or later, and the struggle for efficiency was inimi- 
cal to illusions. Moreover, to be efficient it was necessary to 
be able to learn from the past, which meant having a fairly 
accurate idea of what had happened in the past. Newspa- 
pers and history books were, of course, always coloured and 
biased, but falsification of the kind that is practised today 
would have been impossible. War was a sure safeguard of 
sanity, and so far as the ruling classes were concerned it was 
probably the most important of all safeguards. While wars 
could be won or lost, no ruling class could be completely ir- 

But when war becomes literally continuous, it also ceases 
to be dangerous. When war is continuous there is no such 
thing as military necessity. Technical progress can cease 
and the most palpable facts can be denied or disregarded. 
As we have seen, researches that could be called scientific 
are still carried out for the purposes of war, but they are es- 
sentially a kind of daydreaming, and their failure to show 
results is not important. Efficiency, even military efficiency, 
is no longer needed. Nothing is efficient in Oceania except 
the Thought Police. Since each of the three super-states is 
unconquerable, each is in effect a separate universe within 
which almost any perversion of thought can be safely prac- 
tised. Reality only exerts its pressure through the needs of 
everyday life — the need to eat and drink, to get shelter and 


clothing, to avoid swallowing poison or stepping out of top - 
storey windows, and the like. Between life and death, and 
between physical pleasure and physical pain, there is still 
a distinction, but that is all. Cut off from contact with the 
outer world, and with the past, the citizen of Oceania is 
like a man in interstellar space, who has no way of know- 
ing which direction is up and which is down. The rulers of 
such a state are absolute, as the Pharaohs or the Caesars 
could not be. They are obliged to prevent their followers 
from starving to death in numbers large enough to be in- 
convenient, and they are obliged to remain at the same 
low level of military technique as their rivals; but once that 
minimum is achieved, they can twist reality into whatever 
shape they choose. 

The war, therefore, if we judge it by the standards of pre- 
vious wars, is merely an imposture. It is like the battles 
between certain ruminant animals whose horns are set at 
such an angle that they are incapable of hurting one anoth- 
er. But though it is unreal it is not meaningless. It eats up 
the surplus of consumable goods, and it helps to preserve 
the special mental atmosphere that a hierarchical society 
needs. War, it will be seen, is now a purely internal affair. 
In the past, the ruling groups of all countries, although 
they might recognize their common interest and therefore 
limit the destructiveness of war, did fight against one an- 
other, and the victor always plundered the vanquished. In 
our own day they are not fighting against one another at 
all. The war is waged by each ruling group against its own 
subjects, and the object of the war is not to make or prevent 

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conquests of territory, but to keep the structure of society 
intact. The very word 'war', therefore, has become mislead- 
ing. It would probably be accurate to say that by becoming 
continuous war has ceased to exist. The peculiar pressure 
that it exerted on human beings between the Neolithic Age 
and the early twentieth century has disappeared and been 
replaced by something quite different. The effect would be 
much the same if the three super-states, instead of fighting 
one another, should agree to live in perpetual peace, each 
inviolate within its own boundaries. For in that case each 
would still be a self-contained universe, freed for ever from 
the sobering influence of external danger. A peace that was 
truly permanent would be the same as a permanent war. 
This — although the vast majority of Party members under- 
stand it only in a shallower sense — is the inner meaning of 
the Party slogan: WAR IS PEACE. 

Winston stopped reading for a moment. Somewhere in 
remote distance a rocket bomb thundered. The blissful feel- 
ing of being alone with the forbidden book, in a room with 
no telescreen, had not worn off. Solitude and safety were 
physical sensations, mixed up somehow with the tiredness 
of his body, the softness of the chair, the touch of the faint 
breeze from the window that played upon his cheek. The 
book fascinated him, or more exactly it reassured him. In 
a sense it told him nothing that was new, but that was part 
of the attraction. It said what he would have said, if it had 
been possible for him to set his scattered thoughts in or- 
der. It was the product of a mind similar to his own, but 
enormously more powerful, more systematic, less fear-rid- 


den. The best books, he perceived, are those that tell you 
what you know already. He had just turned back to Chapter 
I when he heard Julia's footstep on the stair and started out 
of his chair to meet her. She dumped her brown tool-bag on 
the floor and flung herself into his arms. It was more than a 
week since they had seen one another. 

'I've got THE BOOK,' he said as they disentangled them- 

'Oh, you've got it? Good,' she said without much interest, 
and almost immediately knelt down beside the oil stove to 
make the coffee. 

They did not return to the subject until they had been 
in bed for half an hour. The evening was just cool enough 
to make it worth while to pull up the counterpane. From 
below came the familiar sound of singing and the scrape 
of boots on the flagstones. The brawny red-armed woman 
whom Winston had seen there on his first visit was almost a 
fixture in the yard. There seemed to be no hour of daylight 
when she was not marching to and fro between the washtub 
and the line, alternately gagging herself with clothes pegs 
and breaking forth into lusty song. Julia had settled down 
on her side and seemed to be already on the point of falling 
asleep. He reached out for the book, which was lying on the 
floor, and sat up against the bedhead. 

'We must read it,' he said. 'You too. All members of the 
Brotherhood have to read it.' 

'You read it,' she said with her eyes shut. 'Read it aloud. 
That's the best way. Then you can explain it to me as you 


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The clock's hands said six, meaning eighteen. They had 
three or four hours ahead of them. He propped the book 
against his knees and began reading: 

Chapter I Ignorance is Strength 

Throughout recorded time, and probably since the end 
of the Neolithic Age, there have been three kinds of people 
in the world, the High, the Middle, and the Low. They have 
been subdivided in many ways, they have borne count- 
less different names, and their relative numbers, as well as 
their attitude towards one another, have varied from age to 
age: but the essential structure of society has never altered. 
Even after enormous upheavals and seemingly irrevocable 
changes, the same pattern has always reasserted itself, just 
as a gyroscope will always return to equilibnum, however 
far it is pushed one way or the other 

'Julia, are you awake?' said Winston. 

'Yes, my love, I'm listening. Go on. It's marvellous.' 

He continued reading: 

The aims of these three groups are entirely irreconcil- 
able. The aim of the High is to remain where they are. The 
aim of the Middle is to change places with the High. The 
aim of the Low, when they have an aim — for it is an abiding 
characteristic of the Low that they are too much crushed 
by drudgery to be more than intermittently conscious of 
anything outside their daily lives — is to abolish all distinc- 
tions and create a society in which all men shall be equal. 
Thus throughout history a struggle which is the same in its 
main outlines recurs over and over again. For long periods 
the High seem to be securely in power, but sooner or later 


there always comes a moment when they lose either their 
belief in themselves or their capacity to govern efficiently 
or both. They are then overthrown by the Middle, who en- 
list the Low on their side by pretending to them that they 
are fighting for liberty and justice. As soon as they have 
reached their objective, the Middle thrust the Low back 
into their old position of servitude, and themselves become 
the High. Presently a new Middle group splits off from one 
of the other groups, or from both of them, and the struggle 
begins over again. Of the three groups, only the Low are 
never even temporarily successful in achieving their aims. 
It would be an exaggeration to say that throughout history 
there has been no progress of a material kind. Even today, 
in a period of decline, the average human being is physical- 
ly better off than he was a few centuries ago. But no advance 
in wealth, no softening of manners, no reform or revolu- 
tion has ever brought human equality a millimetre nearer. 
From the point of view of the Low, no historic change has 
ever meant much more than a change in the name of their 

By the late nineteenth century the recurrence of this pat- 
tern had become obvious to many observers. There then 
rose schools of thinkers who interpreted history as a cy- 
clical process and claimed to show that inequality was the 
unalterable law of human life. This doctrine, of course, had 
always had its adherents, but in the manner in which it was 
now put forward there was a significant change. In the past 
the need for a hierarchical form of society had been the doc- 
trine specifically of the High. It had been preached by kings 

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and aristocrats and by the priests, lawyers, and the like who 
were parasitical upon them, and it had generally been soft- 
ened by promises of compensation in an imaginary world 
beyond the grave. The Middle, so long as it was struggling 
for power, had always made use of such terms as freedom, 
justice, and fraternity Now, however, the concept of hu- 
man brotherhood began to be assailed by people who were 
not yet in positions of command, but merely hoped to be so 
before long. In the past the Middle had made revolutions 
under the banner of equality, and then had established a 
fresh tyranny as soon as the old one was overthrown. The 
new Middle groups in effect proclaimed their tyranny be- 
forehand. Socialism, a theory which appeared in the early 
nineteenth century and was the last link in a chain of 
thought stretching back to the slave rebellions of antiquity, 
was still deeply infected by the Utopianism of past ages. But 
in each variant of Socialism that appeared from about 1900 
onwards the aim of establishing liberty and equality was 
more and more openly abandoned. The new movements 
which appeared in the middle years of the century, Ingsoc 
in Oceania, Neo-Bolshevism in Eurasia, Death-Worship, as 
it is commonly called, in Eastasia, had the conscious aim 
of perpetuating UNfreedom and INequality These new 
movements, of course, grew out of the old ones and tended 
to keep their names and pay lip-service to their ideology. 
But the purpose of all of them was to arrest progress and 
freeze history at a chosen moment. The familiar pendulum 
swing was to happen once more, and then stop. As usual, 
the High were to be turned out by the Middle, who would 

256 1984 

then become the High; but this time, by conscious strategy, 
the High would be able to maintain their position perma- 

The new doctrines arose partly because of the accu- 
mulation of historical knowledge, and the growth of the 
historical sense, which had hardly existed before the nine- 
teenth century. The cyclical movement of history was now 
intelligible, or appeared to be so; and if it was intelligible, 
then it was alterable. But the principal, underlying cause 
was that, as early as the beginning of the twentieth century, 
human equality had become technically possible. It was still 
true that men were not equal in their native talents and that 
functions had to be specialized in ways that favoured some 
individuals against others; but there was no longer any real 
need for class distinctions or for large differences of wealth. 
In earlier ages, class distinctions had been not only inevi- 
table but desirable. Inequality was the price of civilization. 
With the development of machine production, however, the 
case was altered. Even if it was still necessary for human 
beings to do different kinds of work, it was no longer neces- 
sary for them to live at different social or economic levels. 
Therefore, from the point of view of the new groups who 
were on the point of seizing power, human equality was no 
longer an ideal to be striven after, but a danger to be avert- 
ed. In more primitive ages, when a just and peaceful society 
was in fact not possible, it had been fairly easy to believe it. 
The idea of an earthly paradise in which men should live 
together in a state of brotherhood, without laws and with- 
out brute labour, had haunted the human imagination for 

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thousands of years. And this vision had had a certain hold 
even on the groups who actually profited by each histori- 
cal change. The heirs of the French, English, and American 
revolutions had partly believed in their own phrases about 
the rights of man, freedom of speech, equality before the 
law, and the like, and have even allowed their conduct to 
be influenced by them to some extent. But by the fourth 
decade of the twentieth century all the main currents of 
political thought were authoritarian. The earthly paradise 
had been discredited at exactly the moment when it became 
realizable. Every new political theory, by whatever name it 
called itself, led back to hierarchy and regimentation. And 
in the general hardening of outlook that set in round about 
1930, practices which had been long abandoned, in some 
cases for hundreds of years — imprisonment without trial, 
the use of war prisoners as slaves, public executions, torture 
to extract confessions, the use of hostages, and the depor- 
tation of whole populations— not only became common 
again, but were tolerated and even defended by people who 
considered themselves enlightened and progressive. 

It was only after a decade of national wars, civil wars, 
revolutions, and counter-revolutions in all parts of the 
world that Ingsoc and its rivals emerged as fully worked- 
out political theories. But they had been foreshadowed by 
the various systems, generally called totalitarian, which 
had appeared earlier in the century, and the main outlines 
of the world which would emerge from the prevailing chaos 
had long been obvious. What kind of people would control 
this world had been equally obvious. The new aristocracy 

258 1984 

was made up for the most part of bureaucrats, scientists, 
technicians, trade-union organizers, publicity experts, so- 
ciologists, teachers, journalists, and professional politicians. 
These people, whose origins lay in the salaried middle class 
and the upper grades of the working class, had been shaped 
and brought together by the barren world of monopoly in- 
dustry and centralized government. As compared with 
their opposite numbers in past ages, they were less avari- 
cious, less tempted by luxury, hungrier for pure power, and, 
above all, more conscious of what they were doing and 
more intent on crushing opposition. This last difference was 
cardinal. By comparison with that existing today, all the 
tyrannies of the past were half-hearted and inefficient. The 
ruling groups were always infected to some extent by lib- 
eral ideas, and were content to leave loose ends everywhere, 
to regard only the overt act and to be uninterested in what 
their subjects were thinking. Even the Catholic Church of 
the Middle Ages was tolerant by modern standards. Part of 
the reason for this was that in the past no government had 
the power to keep its citizens under constant surveillance. 
The invention of print, however, made it easier to manipu- 
late public opinion, and the film and the radio carried the 
process further. With the development of television, and 
the technical advance which made it possible to receive and 
transmit simultaneously on the same instrument, private 
life came to an end. Every citizen, or at least every citizen 
important enough to be worth watching, could be kept for 
twenty- four hours a day under the eyes of the police and in 
the sound of official propaganda, with all other channels 

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of communication closed. The possibility of enforcing not 
only complete obedience to the will of the State, but com- 
plete uniformity of opinion on all subjects, now existed for 
the first time. 

After the revolutionary period of the fifties and sixties, 
society regrouped itself, as always, into High, Middle, and 
Low. But the new High group, unlike all its forerunners, did 
not act upon instinct but knew what was needed to safeguard 
its position. It had long been realized that the only secure 
basis for oligarchy is collectivism. Wealth and privilege are 
most easily defended when they are possessed jointly. The 
so-called 'abolition of private property' which took place in 
the middle years of the century meant, in effect, the con- 
centration of property in far fewer hands than before: but 
with this difference, that the new owners were a group in- 
stead of a mass of individuals. Individually, no member of 
the Party owns anything, except petty personal belongings. 
Collectively, the Party owns everything in Oceania, be- 
cause it controls everything, and disposes of the products 
as it thinks fit. In the years following the Revolution it was 
able to step into this commanding position almost unop- 
posed, because the whole process was represented as an act 
of collectivization. It had always been assumed that if the 
capitalist class were expropriated, Socialism must follow: 
and unquestionably the capitalists had been expropriated. 
Factories, mines, land, houses, transport — everything had 
been taken away from them: and since these things were 
no longer private property, it followed that they must be 
public property. Ingsoc, which grew out of the earlier So- 


cialist movement and inherited its phraseology, has in fact 
carried out the main item in the Socialist programme; with 
the result, foreseen and intended beforehand, that econom- 
ic inequality has been made permanent. 

But the problems of perpetuating a hierarchical soci- 
ety go deeper than this. There are only four ways in which 
a ruling group can fall from power. Either it is conquered 
from without, or it governs so inefficiently that the masses 
are stirred to revolt, or it allows a strong and discontented 
Middle group to come into being, or it loses its own self- 
confidence and willingness to govern. These causes do not 
operate singly, and as a rule all four of them are present in 
some degree. A ruling class which could guard against all 
of them would remain in power permanently. Ultimately 
the determining factor is the mental attitude of the ruling 
class itself. 

After the middle of the present century, the first dan- 
ger had in reality disappeared. Each of the three powers 
which now divide the world is in fact unconquerable, and 
could only become conquerable through slow demographic 
changes which a government with wide powers can easi- 
ly avert. The second danger, also, is only a theoretical one. 
The masses never revolt of their own accord, and they never 
revolt merely because they are oppressed. Indeed, so long 
as they are not permitted to have standards of comparison, 
they never even become aware that they are oppressed. The 
recurrent economic crises of past times were totally un- 
necessary and are not now permitted to happen, but other 
and equally large dislocations can and do happen without 

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having political results, because there is no way in which 
discontent can become articulate. As for the problem of 
over-production, which has been latent in our society since 
the development of machine technique, it is solved by the 
device of continuous warfare (see Chapter III), which is 
also useful in keying up public morale to the necessary 
pitch. From the point of view of our present rulers, there- 
fore, the only genuine dangers are the splitting- off of a new 
group of able, under- employed, power-hungry people, and 
the growth of liberalism and scepticism in their own ranks. 
The problem, that is to say, is educational. It is a problem 
of continuously moulding the consciousness both of the 
directing group and of the larger executive group that lies 
immediately below it. The consciousness of the masses 
needs only to be influenced in a negative way. 

Given this background, one could infer, if one did not 
know it already, the general structure of Oceanic society. At 
the apex of the pyramid comes Big Brother. Big Brother is in- 
fallible and all-powerful. Every success, every achievement, 
every victory, every scientific discovery, all knowledge, all 
wisdom, all happiness, all virtue, are held to issue directly 
from his leadership and inspiration. Nobody has ever seen 
Big Brother. He is a face on the hoardings, a voice on the 
telescreen. We may be reasonably sure that he will never die, 
and there is already considerable uncertainty as to when he 
was born. Big Brother is the guise in which the Party choos- 
es to exhibit itself to the world. His function is to act as a 
focusing point for love, fear, and reverence, emotions which 
are more easily felt towards an individual than towards an 


organization. Below Big Brother comes the Inner Party. Its 
numbers limited to six millions, or something less than 
2 per cent of the population of Oceania. Below the Inner 
Party comes the Outer Party, which, if the Inner Party is de- 
scribed as the brain of the State, may be justly likened to the 
hands. Below that come the dumb masses whom we habitu- 
ally refer to as 'the proles', numbering perhaps 85 per cent of 
the population. In the terms of our earlier classification, the 
proles are the Low: for the slave population of the equatori- 
al lands who pass constantly from conqueror to conqueror, 
are not a permanent or necessary part of the structure. 

In principle, membership of these three groups is not he- 
reditary. The child of Inner Party parents is in theory not 
born into the Inner Party. Admission to either branch of the 
Party is by examination, taken at the age of sixteen. Nor is 
there any racial discrimination, or any marked domination 
of one province by another. Jews, Negroes, South Ameri- 
cans of pure Indian blood are to be found in the highest 
ranks of the Party, and the administrators of any area are 
always drawn from the inhabitants of that area. In no part 
of Oceania do the inhabitants have the feeling that they are 
a colonial population ruled from a distant capital. Ocea- 
nia has no capital, and its titular head is a person whose 
whereabouts nobody knows. Except that English is its chief 
LINGUA FRANCA and Newspeak its official language, it is 
not centralized in any way. Its rulers are not held together 
by blood-ties but by adherence to a common doctrine. It 
is true that our society is stratified, and very rigidly strat- 
ified, on what at first sight appear to be hereditary lines. 263 

There is far less to-and-fro movement between the differ- 
ent groups than happened under capitalism or even in the 
pre-industrial age. Between the two branches of the Party 
there is a certain amount of interchange, but only so much 
as will ensure that weaklings are excluded from the Inner 
Party and that ambitious members of the Outer Party are 
made harmless by allowing them to rise. Proletarians, in 
practice, are not allowed to graduate into the Party. The 
most gifted among them, who might possibly become nu- 
clei of discontent, are simply marked down by the Thought 
Police and eliminated. But this state of affairs is not neces- 
sarily permanent, nor is it a matter of principle. The Party 
is not a class in the old sense of the word. It does not aim 
at transmitting power to its own children, as such; and if 
there were no other way of keeping the ablest people at the 
top, it would be perfectly prepared to recruit an entire new 
generation from the ranks of the proletariat. In the crucial 
years, the fact that the Party was not a hereditary body did 
a great deal to neutralize opposition. The older kind of So- 
cialist, who had been trained to fight against something 
called 'class privilege' assumed that what is not hereditary 
cannot be permanent. He did not see that the continuity 
of an oligarchy need not be physical, nor did he pause to 
reflect that hereditary aristocracies have always been short- 
lived, whereas adoptive organizations such as the Catholic 
Church have sometimes lasted for hundreds or thousands 
of years. The essence of oligarchical rule is not father-to-son 
inheritance, but the persistence of a certain world-view and 
a certain way of life, imposed by the dead upon the living. A 

264 1984 

ruling group is a ruling group so long as it can nominate its 
successors. The Party is not concerned with perpetuating 
its blood but with perpetuating itself. WHO wields power 
is not important, provided that the hierarchical structure 
remains always the same. 

All the beliefs, habits, tastes, emotions, mental attitudes 
that characterize our time are really designed to sustain the 
mystique of the Party and prevent the true nature of pres- 
ent-day society from being perceived. Physical rebellion, or 
any preliminary move towards rebellion, is at present not 
possible. From the proletarians nothing is to be feared. Left 
to themselves, they will continue from generation to gener- 
ation and from century to century, working, breeding, and 
dying, not only without any impulse to rebel, but without 
the power of grasping that the world could be other than it 
is. They could only become dangerous if the advance of in- 
dustrial technique made it necessary to educate them more 
highly; but, since military and commercial rivalry are no 
longer important, the level of popular education is actually 
declining. What opinions the masses hold, or do not hold, 
is looked on as a matter of indifference. They can be granted 
intellectual liberty because they have no intellect. In a Party 
member, on the other hand, not even the smallest deviation 
of opinion on the most unimportant subject can be toler- 

A Party member lives from birth to death under the eye 
of the Thought Police. Even when he is alone he can never be 
sure that he is alone. Wherever he may be, asleep or awake, 
working or resting, in his bath or in bed, he can be inspected 265 

without warning and without knowing that he is being in- 
spected. Nothing that he does is indifferent. His friendships, 
his relaxations, his behaviour towards his wife and children, 
the expression of his face when he is alone, the words he 
mutters in sleep, even the characteristic movements of his 
body, are all jealously scrutinized. Not only any actual mis- 
demeanour, but any eccentricity, however small, any change 
of habits, any nervous mannerism that could possibly be 
the symptom of an inner struggle, is certain to be detected. 
He has no freedom of choice in any direction whatever. On 
the other hand his actions are not regulated by law or by any 
clearly formulated code of behaviour. In Oceania there is 
no law. Thoughts and actions which, when detected, mean 
certain death are not formally forbidden, and the endless 
purges, arrests, tortures, imprisonments, and vaporizations 
are not inflicted as punishment for crimes which have ac- 
tually been committed, but are merely the wiping- out of 
persons who might perhaps commit a crime at some time in 
the future. A Party member is required to have not only the 
right opinions, but the right instincts. Many of the beliefs 
and attitudes demanded of him are never plainly stated, and 
could not be stated without laying bare the contradictions 
inherent in Ingsoc. If he is a person naturally orthodox (in 
Newspeak a GOODTHINKER), he will in all circumstanc- 
es know, without taking thought, what is the true belief or 
the desirable emotion. But in any case an elaborate men- 
tal training, undergone in childhood and grouping itself 
round the Newspeak words CRIMESTOP, BLACKWHITE, 
and DOUBLETHINK, makes him unwilling and unable to 


think too deeply on any subject whatever. 

A Party member is expected to have no private emotions 
and no respites from enthusiasm. He is supposed to live in a 
continuous frenzy of hatred of foreign enemies and internal 
traitors, triumph over victories, and self-abasement before 
the power and wisdom of the Party. The discontents pro- 
duced by his bare, unsatisfying life are deliberately turned 
outwards and dissipated by such devices as the Two Minutes 
Hate, and the speculations which might possibly induce a 
sceptical or rebellious attitude are killed in advance by his 
early acquired inner discipline. The first and simplest stage 
in the discipline, which can be taught even to young chil- 
dren, is called, in Newspeak, CRIMESTOP CRIMESTOP 
means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, 
at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the 
power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logi- 
cal errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if 
they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled 
by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a 
heretical direction. CRIMESTOP, in short, means protec- 
tive stupidity. But stupidity is not enough. On the contrary, 
orthodoxy in the full sense demands a control over one's 
own mental processes as complete as that of a contortion- 
ist over his body. Oceanic society rests ultimately on the 
belief that Big Brother is omnipotent and that the Party is 
infallible. But since in reality Big Brother is not omnipotent 
and the party is not infallible, there is need for an unwea- 
rying, moment-to-moment flexibility in the treatment of 
facts. The keyword here is BLACKWHITE. Like so many 

Free eBooks at Planet 267 

Newspeak words, this word has two mutually contradicto- 
ry meanings. Applied to an opponent, it means the habit of 
impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of 
the plain facts. Applied to a Party member, it means a loyal 
willingness to say that black is white when Party discipline 
demands this. But it means also the ability to BELIEVE that 
black is white, and more, to KNOW that black is white, and 
to forget that one has ever believed the contrary. This de- 
mands a continuous alteration of the past, made possible 
by the system of thought which really embraces all the rest, 
and which is known in Newspeak as DOUBLETHINK. 

The alteration of the past is necessary for two reasons, 
one of which is subsidiary and, so to speak, precaution- 
ary. The subsidiary reason is that the Party member, like 
the proletarian, tolerates present-day conditions partly be- 
cause he has no standards of comparison. He must be cut 
off from the past, just as he must be cut off from foreign 
countries, because it is necessary for him to believe that 
he is better off than his ancestors and that the average lev- 
el of material comfort is constantly rising. But by far the 
more important reason for the readjustment of the past is 
the need to safeguard the infallibility of the Party. It is not 
merely that speeches, statistics, and records of every kind 
must be constantly brought up to date in order to show that 
the predictions of the Party were in all cases right. It is also 
that no change in doctrine or in political alignment can 
ever be admitted. For to change one's mind, or even one's 
policy, is a confession of weakness. If, for example, Eurasia 
or Eastasia (whichever it may be) is the enemy today, then 


that country must always have been the enemy. And if the 
facts say otherwise then the facts must be altered. Thus his- 
tory is continuously rewritten. This day-to-day falsification 
of the past, carried out by the Ministry of Truth, is as neces- 
sary to the stability of the regime as the work of repression 
and espionage carried out by the Ministry of Love. 

The mutability of the past is the central tenet of Ingsoc. 
Past events, it is argued, have no objective existence, but 
survive only in written records and in human memories. 
The past is whatever the records and the memories agree 
upon. And since the Party is in full control of all records 
and in equally full control of the minds of its members, it 
follows that the past is whatever the Party chooses to make 
it. It also follows that though the past is alterable, it never 
has been altered in any specific instance. For when it has 
been recreated in whatever shape is needed at the moment, 
then this new version IS the past, and no different past can 
ever have existed. This holds good even when, as often hap- 
pens, the same event has to be altered out of recognition 
several times in the course of a year. At all times the Party 
is in possession of absolute truth, and clearly the absolute 
can never have been different from what it is now. It will 
be seen that the control of the past depends above all on 
the training of memory. To make sure that all written re- 
cords agree with the orthodoxy of the moment is merely 
a mechanical act. But it is also necessary to REMEMBER 
that events happened in the desired manner. And if it is 
necessary to rearrange one's memories or to tamper with 
written records, then it is necessary to FORGET that one 269 

has done so. The trick of doing this can be learned like any 
other mental technique. It is learned by the majority of Par- 
ty members, and certainly by all who are intelligent as well 
as orthodox. In Oldspeak it is called, quite frankly, 'reality 
control'. In Newspeak it is called DOUBLETHINK, though 
DOUBLETHINK comprises much else as well. 

DOUBLETHINK means the power of holding two 
contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and ac- 
cepting both of them. The Party intellectual knows in which 
direction his memories must be altered; he therefore knows 
that he is playing tricks with reality; but by the exercise of 
DOUBLETHINK he also satisfies himself that reality is not 
violated. The process has to be conscious, or it would not 
be carried out with sufficient precision, but it also has to be 
unconscious, or it would bring with it a feeling of falsity and 
hence of guilt. DOUBLETHINK lies at the very heart of In- 
gsoc, since the essential act of the Party is to use conscious 
deception while retaining the firmness of purpose that goes 
with complete honesty. To tell deliberate lies while genu- 
inely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become 
inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, 
to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, 
to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while 
to take account of the reality which one denies — all this is 
indispensably necessary. Even in using the word DOUBLE- 
THINK it is necessary to exercise DOUBLETHINK. For 
by using the word one admits that one is tampering with 
reality; by a fresh act of DOUBLETHINK one erases this 
knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one 


leap ahead of the truth. Ultimately it is by means of DOU- 
BLETHINK that the Party has been able — and may, for all 
we know, continue to be able for thousands of years — to ar- 
rest the course of history. 

All past oligarchies have fallen from power either because 
they ossified or because they grew soft. Either they became 
stupid and arrogant, failed to adjust themselves to chang- 
ing circumstances, and were overthrown; or they became 
liberal and cowardly, made concessions when they should 
have used force, and once again were overthrown. They fell, 
that is to say, either through consciousness or through un- 
consciousness. It is the achievement of the Party to have 
produced a system of thought in which both conditions can 
exist simultaneously. And upon no other intellectual basis 
could the dominion of the Party be made permanent. If one 
is to rule, and to continue ruling, one must be able to dis- 
locate the sense of reality. For the secret of rulership is to 
combine a belief in one's own infallibility with the Power to 
learn from past mistakes. 

It need hardly be said that the subtlest practitioners of 
DOUBLETHINK are those who invented DOUBLETHINK 
and know that it is a vast system of mental cheating. In 
our society, those who have the best knowledge of what is 
happening are also those who are furthest from seeing the 
world as it is. In general, the greater the understanding, the 
greater the delusion; the more intelligent, the less sane. One 
clear illustration of this is the fact that war hysteria increas- 
es in intensity as one rises in the social scale. Those whose 
attitude towards the war is most nearly rational are the sub- 

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ject peoples of the disputed territories. To these people the 
war is simply a continuous calamity which sweeps to and 
fro over their bodies like a tidal wave. Which side is win- 
ning is a matter of complete indifference to them. They are 
aware that a change of overlordship means simply that they 
will be doing the same work as before for new masters who 
treat them in the same manner as the old ones. The slightly 
more favoured workers whom we call 'the proles' are only 
intermittently conscious of the war. When it is necessary 
they can be prodded into frenzies of fear and hatred, but 
when left to themselves they are capable of forgetting for 
long periods that the war is happening. It is in the ranks of 
the Party, and above all of the Inner Party, that the true war 
enthusiasm is found. World- conquest is believed in most 
firmly by those who know it to be impossible. This peculiar 
linking-together of opposites — knowledge with ignorance, 
cynicism with fanaticism — is one of the chief distinguish- 
ing marks of Oceanic society. The official ideology abounds 
with contradictions even when there is no practical reason 
for them. Thus, the Party rejects and vilifies every principle 
for which the Socialist movement originally stood, and it 
chooses to do this in the name of Socialism. It preaches a 
contempt for the working class unexampled for centuries 
past, and it dresses its members in a uniform which was at 
one time peculiar to manual workers and was adopted for 
that reason. It systematically undermines the solidarity of 
the family, and it calls its leader by a name which is a direct 
appeal to the sentiment of family loyalty. Even the names of 
the four Ministries by which we are governed exhibit a sort 


of impudence in their deliberate reversal of the facts. The 
Ministry of Peace concerns itself with war, the Ministry of 
Truth with lies, the Ministry of Love with torture and the 
Ministry of Plenty with starvation. These contradictions 
are not accidental, nor do they result from ordinary hypoc- 
risy; they are deliberate exercises in DOUBLETHINK. For 
it is only by reconciling contradictions that power can be 
retained indefinitely. In no other way could the ancient cy- 
cle be broken. If human equality is to be for ever averted — if 
the High, as we have called them, are to keep their places 
permanently — then the prevailing mental condition must 
be controlled insanity. 

But there is one question which until this moment we 
have almost ignored. It is; WHY should human equality be 
averted? Supposing that the mechanics of the process have 
been rightly described, what is the motive for this huge, 
accurately planned effort to freeze history at a particular 
moment of time? 

Here we reach the central secret. As we have seen, the 
mystique of the Party, and above all of the Inner Party, de- 
pends upon DOUBLETHINK But deeper than this lies the 
original motive, the never- questioned instinct that first led 
to the seizure of power and brought DOUBLETHINK, the 
Thought Police, continuous warfare, and all the other nec- 
essary paraphernalia into existence afterwards. This motive 
really consists... 

Winston became aware of silence, as one becomes aware 
of a new sound. It seemed to him that Julia had been very 
still for some time past. She was lying on her side, na- 

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ked from the waist upwards, with her cheek pillowed on 
her hand and one dark lock tumbling across her eyes. Her 
breast rose and fell slowly and regularly. 


No answer. 

'Julia, are you awake?' 

No answer. She was asleep. He shut the book, put it care- 
fully on the floor, lay down, and pulled the coverlet over 
both of them. 

He had still, he reflected, not learned the ultimate secret. 
He understood HOW; he did not understand WHY. Chap- 
ter I, like Chapter III, had not actually told him anything 
that he did not know, it had merely systematized the knowl- 
edge that he possessed already. But after reading it he knew 
better than before that he was not mad. Being in a minority, 
even a minority of one, did not make you mad. There was 
truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth 
even against the whole world, you were not mad. A yellow 
beam from the sinking sun slanted in through the window 
and fell across the pillow. He shut his eyes. The sun on his 
face and the girl's smooth body touching his own gave him 
a strong, sleepy, confident feeling. He was safe, everything 
was all right. He fell asleep murmuring 'Sanity is not sta- 
tistical,' with the feeling that this remark contained in it a 
profound wisdom. 

When he woke it was with the sensation of having slept 
for a long time, but a glance at the old-fashioned clock told 
him that it was only twenty-thirty He lay dozing for a while; 


then the usual deep-lunged singing struck up from the yard 

'It was only an 'opeless fancy, 

It passed like an Ipril dye, 

But a look an a word an the dreams they stirred 

They 'ave stolen my 'eart awye!' 

The driveling song seemed to have kept its popularity. 
You still heard it all over the place. It had outlived the Hate 
Song. Julia woke at the sound, stretched herself luxuriously, 
and got out of bed. 

'I'm hungry' she said. 'Let's make some more coffee. 
Damn! The stove's gone out and the water's cold.' She picked 
the stove up and shook it. 'There's no oil in it.' 

'We can get some from old Charrington, I expect.' 

'The funny thing is I made sure it was full. I'm going to 
put my clothes on,' she added. 'It seems to have got colder.' 

Winston also got up and dressed himself. The indefati- 
gable voice sang on: 

"Ihey sye that time 'eals all things, 

They sye you can always forget; 

But the smiles an the tears acrorss the years 

They twist my 'eart-strings yet!' 

As he fastened the belt of his overalls he strolled across 
to the window. The sun must have gone down behind the 
houses; it was not shining into the yard any longer. The flag- 275 

stones were wet as though they had just been washed, and 
he had the feeling that the sky had been washed too, so fresh 
and pale was the blue between the chimney-pots. Tireless- 
ly the woman marched to and fro, corking and uncorking 
herself, singing and falling silent, and pegging out more di- 
apers, and more and yet more. He wondered whether she 
took in washing for a living or was merely the slave of twen- 
ty or thirty grandchildren. Julia had come across to his side; 
together they gazed down with a sort of fascination at the 
sturdy figure below. As he looked at the woman in her char- 
acteristic attitude, her thick arms reaching up for the line, 
her powerful mare-like buttocks protruded, it struck him 
for the first time that she was beautiful. It had never before 
occurred to him that the body of a woman of fifty, blown up 
to monstrous dimensions by childbearing, then hardened, 
roughened by work till it was coarse in the grain like an 
over-ripe turnip, could be beautiful. But it was so, and after 
all, he thought, why not? The solid, contourless body, like a 
block of granite, and the rasping red skin, bore the same re- 
lation to the body of a girl as the rose-hip to the rose. Why 
should the fruit be held inferior to the flower? 

'She's beautiful,' he murmured. 

'She's a metre across the hips, easily' said Julia. 

'That is her style of beauty' said Winston. 

He held Julia's supple waist easily encircled by his arm. 
From the hip to the knee her flank was against his. Out of 
their bodies no child would ever come. That was the one 
thing they could never do. Only by word of mouth, from 
mind to mind, could they pass on the secret. The woman 

276 1984 

down there had no mind, she had only strong arms, a warm 
heart, and a fertile belly. He wondered how many children 
she had given birth to. It might easily be fifteen. She had 
had her momentary flowering, a year, perhaps, of wild-rose 
beauty and then she had suddenly swollen like a fertilized 
fruit and grown hard and red and coarse, and then her life 
had been laundering, scrubbing, darning, cooking, sweep- 
ing, polishing, mending, scrubbing, laundering, first for 
children, then for grandchildren, over thirty unbroken 
years. At the end of it she was still singing. The mystical 
reverence that he felt for her was somehow mixed up with 
the aspect of the pale, cloudless sky, stretching away behind 
the chimney-pots into interminable distance. It was curi- 
ous to think that the sky was the same for everybody, in 
Eurasia or Eastasia as well as here. And the people under 
the sky were also very much the same — everywhere, all over 
the world, hundreds of thousands of millions of people just 
like this, people ignorant of one another's existence, held 
apart by walls of hatred and lies, and yet almost exactly the 
same — people who had never learned to think but who were 
storing up in their hearts and bellies and muscles the power 
that would one day overturn the world. If there was hope, 
it lay in the proles! Without having read to the end of THE 
BOOK, he knew that that must be Goldstein's final message. 
The future belonged to the proles. And could he be sure that 
when their time came the world they constructed would not 
be just as alien to him, Winston Smith, as the world of the 
Party? Yes, because at the least it would be a world of sanity. 
Where there is equality there can be sanity. Sooner or later 

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it would happen, strength would change into consciousness. 
The proles were immortal, you could not doubt it when you 
looked at that valiant figure in the yard. In the end their 
awakening would come. And until that happened, though it 
might be a thousand years, they would stay alive against all 
the odds, like birds, passing on from body to body the vital- 
ity which the Party did not share and could not kill. 

'Do you remember,' he said, 'the thrush that sang to us, 
that first day, at the edge of the wood?' 

'He wasn't singing to us,' said Julia. 'He was singing to 
please himself. Not even that. He was just singing.' 

The birds sang, the proles sang, the Party did not sing. 
All round the world, in London and New York, in Africa 
and Brazil, and in the mysterious, forbidden lands beyond 
the frontiers, in the streets of Paris and Berlin, in the villag- 
es of the endless Russian plain, in the bazaars of China and 
Japan — everywhere stood the same solid unconquerable 
figure, made monstrous by work and childbearing, toiling 
from birth to death and still singing. Out of those mighty 
loins a race of conscious beings must one day come. You 
were the dead, theirs was the future. But you could share in 
that future if you kept alive the mind as they kept alive the 
body, and passed on the secret doctrine that two plus two 
make four. 

'We are the dead,' he said. 

'We are the dead,' echoed Julia dutifully. 

'You are the dead,' said an iron voice behind them. 

They sprang apart. Winston's entrails seemed to have 
turned into ice. He could see the white all round the irises of 

278 1984 

Julia's eyes. Her face had turned a milky yellow. The smear 
of rouge that was still on each cheekbone stood out sharply, 
almost as though unconnected with the skin beneath. 

'You are the dead,' repeated the iron voice. 

'It was behind the picture,' breathed Julia. 

'It was behind the picture,' said the voice. 'Remain exactly 
where you are. Make no movement until you are ordered.' 

It was starting, it was starting at last! They could do noth- 
ing except stand gazing into one another's eyes. To run for 
life, to get out of the house before it was too late — no such 
thought occurred to them. Unthinkable to disobey the iron 
voice from the wall. There was a snap as though a catch had 
been turned back, and a crash of breaking glass. The picture 
had fallen to the floor uncovering the telescreen behind it. 

'Now they can see us,' said Julia. 

'Now we can see you,' said the voice. 'Stand out in the 
middle of the room. Stand back to back. Clasp your hands 
behind your heads. Do not touch one another.' 

They were not touching, but it seemed to him that he 
could feel Julia's body shaking. Or perhaps it was merely 
the shaking of his own. He could just stop his teeth from 
chattering, but his knees were beyond his control. There 
was a sound of trampling boots below, inside the house and 
outside. The yard seemed to be full of men. Something was 
being dragged across the stones. The woman's singing had 
stopped abruptly. There was a long, rolling clang, as though 
the washtub had been flung across the yard, and then a con- 
fusion of angry shouts which ended in a yell of pain. 

"The house is surrounded,' said Winston. 

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"The house is surrounded,' said the voice. 

He heard Julia snap her teeth together. 'I suppose we may 
as well say good-bye,' she said. 

'You may as well say good-bye,' said the voice. And then 
another quite different voice, a thin, cultivated voice which 
Winston had the impression of having heard before, struck 
in; 'And by the way, while we are on the subject, 'Here comes 
a candle to light you to bed, here comes a chopper to chop 
off your head'!' 

Something crashed on to the bed behind Winston's back. 
The head of a ladder had been thrust through the window 
and had burst in the frame. Someone was climbing through 
the window. There was a stampede of boots up the stairs. 
The room was full of solid men in black uniforms, with iron- 
shod boots on their feet and truncheons in their hands. 

Winston was not trembling any longer. Even his eyes he 
barely moved. One thing alone mattered; to keep still, to 
keep still and not give them an excuse to hit you! A man 
with a smooth prize-fighter's jowl in which the mouth was 
only a slit paused opposite him balancing his truncheon 
meditatively between thumb and forefinger. Winston met 
his eyes. The feeling of nakedness, with one's hands behind 
one's head and one's face and body all exposed, was almost 
unbearable. The man protruded the tip of a white tongue, 
licked the place where his lips should have been, and then 
passed on. There was another crash. Someone had picked 
up the glass paperweight from the table and smashed it to 
pieces on the hearth-stone. 

The fragment of coral, a tiny crinkle of pink like a sug- 


ar rosebud from a cake, rolled across the mat. How small, 
thought Winston, how small it always was! There was a gasp 
and a thump behind him, and he received a violent kick on 
the ankle which nearly flung him off his balance. One of the 
men had smashed his fist into Julia's solar plexus, doubling 
her up like a pocket ruler. She was thrashing about on the 
floor, fighting for breath. Winston dared not turn his head 
even by a millimetre, but sometimes her livid, gasping face 
came within the angle of his vision. Even in his terror it was 
as though he could feel the pain in his own body, the deadly 
pain which nevertheless was less urgent than the struggle to 
get back her breath. He knew what it was like; the terrible, 
agonizing pain which was there all the while but could not 
be suffered yet, because before all else it was necessary to 
be able to breathe. Then two of the men hoisted her up by 
knees and shoulders, and carried her out of the room like a 
sack. Winston had a glimpse of her face, upside down, yel- 
low and contorted, with the eyes shut, and still with a smear 
of rouge on either cheek; and that was the last he saw of 

He stood dead still. No one had hit him yet. Thoughts 
which came of their own accord but seemed totally uninter- 
esting began to flit through his mind. He wondered whether 
they had got Mr Charrington. He wondered what they had 
done to the woman in the yard. He noticed that he bad- 
ly wanted to urinate, and felt a faint surprise, because he 
had done so only two or three hours ago. He noticed that 
the clock on the mantelpiece said nine, meaning twenty- 
one. But the light seemed too strong. Would not the light 

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be fading at twenty- one hours on an August evening? He 
wondered whether after all he and Julia had mistaken the 
time — had slept the clock round and thought it was twen- 
ty-thirty when really it was nought eight-thirty on the 
following morning. But he did not pursue the thought fur- 
ther. It was not interesting. 

There ws another, lighter step in the passage. Mr 
Charrington came into the room. The demeanour of 
the black-uniformed men suddenly became more sub- 
dued. Something had also changed in Mr Charrington's 
appearance. His eye fell on the fragments of the glass pa- 

'Pick up those pieces,' he said sharply. 

A man stooped to obey. The cockney accent had disap- 
peared; Winston suddenly realized whose voice it was that 
he had heard a few moments ago on the telescreen. Mr Char- 
rington was still wearing his old velvet jacket, but his hair, 
which had been almost white, had turned black. Also he was 
not wearing his spectacles. He gave Winston a single sharp 
glance, as though verifying his identity, and then paid no 
more attention to him. He was still recognizable, but he was 
not the same person any longer. His body had straightened, 
and seemed to have grown bigger. His face had undergone 
only tiny changes that had nevertheless worked a complete 
transformation. The black eyebrows were less bushy, the 
wrinkles were gone, the whole lines of the face seemed to 
have altered; even the nose seemed shorter. It was the alert, 
cold face of a man of about five-and-thirty It occurred to 
Winston that for the first time in his life he was looking, 


with knowledge, at a member of the Thought Police. 

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Part Three 

284 1984 

Chapter i 

He did not know where he was. Presumably he was in 
the Ministry of Love, but there was no way of mak- 
ing certain. He was in a high- ceilinged windowless cell with 
walls of glittering white porcelain. Concealed lamps flood- 
ed it with cold light, and there was a low, steady humming 
sound which he supposed had something to do with the 
air supply. A bench, or shelf, just wide enough to sit on ran 
round the wall, broken only by the door and, at the end op- 
posite the door, a lavatory pan with no wooden seat. There 
were four telescreens, one in each wall. 

There was a dull aching in his belly. It had been there 
ever since they had bundled him into the closed van and 
driven him away. But he was also hungry, with a gnaw- 
ing, unwholesome kind of hunger. It might be twenty-four 
hours since he had eaten, it might be thirty-six. He still did 
not know, probably never would know, whether it had been 
morning or evening when they arrested him. Since he was 
arrested he had not been fed. 

He sat as still as he could on the narrow bench, with his 
hands crossed on his knee. He had already learned to sit 
still. If you made unexpected movements they yelled at you 
from the telescreen. But the craving for food was growing 
upon him. What he longed for above all was a piece of bread. 
He had an idea that there were a few breadcrumbs in the 285 

pocket of his overalls. It was even possible — he thought this 
because from time to time something seemed to tickle his 
leg — that there might be a sizeable bit of crust there. In the 
end the temptation to find out overcame his fear; he slipped 
a hand into his pocket. 

'Smith!' yelled a voice from the telescreen. '6079 Smith 
W.! Hands out of pockets in the cells!' 

He sat still again, his hands crossed on his knee. Be- 
fore being brought here he had been taken to another place 
which must have been an ordinary prison or a temporary 
lock-up used by the patrols. He did not know how long he 
had been there; some hours at any rate; with no clocks and 
no daylight it was hard to gauge the time. It was a noisy, evil- 
smelling place. They had put him into a cell similar to the 
one he was now in, but filthily dirty and at all times crowded 
by ten or fifteen people. The majority of them were common 
criminals, but there were a few political prisoners among 
them. He had sat silent against the wall, jostled by dirty 
bodies, too preoccupied by fear and the pain in his belly to 
take much interest in his surroundings, but still noticing 
the astonishing difference in demeanour between the Party 
prisoners and the others. The Party prisoners were always 
silent and terrified, but the ordinary criminals seemed to 
care nothing for anybody. They yelled insults at the guards, 
fought back fiercely when their belongings were impound- 
ed, wrote obscene words on the floor, ate smuggled food 
which they produced from mysterious hiding-places in their 
clothes, and even shouted down the telescreen when it tried 
to restore order. On the other hand some of them seemed 


to be on good terms with the guards, called them by nick- 
names, and tried to wheedle cigarettes through the spyhole 
in the door. The guards, too, treated the common criminals 
with a certain forbearance, even when they had to handle 
them roughly. There was much talk about the forced-labour 
camps to which most of the prisoners expected to be sent. 
It was 'all right' in the camps, he gathered, so long as you 
had good contacts and knew the ropes. There was bribery, 
favouritism, and racketeering of every kind, there was ho- 
mosexuality and prostitution, there was even illicit alcohol 
distilled from potatoes. The positions of trust were given 
only to the common criminals, especially the gangsters and 
the murderers, who formed a sort of aristocracy. All the 
dirty jobs were done by the politicals. 

There was a constant come-and-go of prisoners of every 
description: drug-peddlers, thieves, bandits, black-mar- 
keteers, drunks, prostitutes. Some of the drunks were so 
violent that the other prisoners had to combine to sup- 
press them. An enormous wreck of a woman, aged about 
sixty, with great tumbling breasts and thick coils of white 
hair which had come down in her struggles, was carried in, 
kicking and shouting, by four guards, who had hold of her 
one at each corner. They wrenched off the boots with which 
she had been trying to kick them, and dumped her down 
across Winston's lap, almost breaking his thigh-bones. The 
woman hoisted herself upright and followed them out with 
a yell of 'F bastards!' Then, noticing that she was sit- 
ting on something uneven, she slid off Winston's knees on 
to the bench. 287 

'Beg pardon, dearie,' she said. 'I wouldn't 'a sat on you, 
only the buggers put me there. They dono 'ow to treat a lady, 
do they?' She paused, patted her breast, and belched. 'Par- 
don,' she said, 'I ain't meself, quite.' 

She leant forward and vomited copiously on the floor. 

"Ihass better,' she said, leaning back with closed eyes. 
'Never keep it down, thass what I say. Get it up while it's 
fresh on your stomach, like.' 

She revived, turned to have another look at Winston and 
seemed immediately to take a fancy to him. She put a vast 
arm round his shoulder and drew him towards her, breath- 
ing beer and vomit into his face. 

"Wass your name, dearie?' she said. 

'Smith,' said Winston. 

'Smith?' said the woman. "Thass funny. My name's Smith 
too. Why' she added sentimentally, T might be your moth- 

She might, thought Winston, be his mother. She was 
about the right age and physique, and it was probable that 
people changed somewhat after twenty years in a forced-la- 
bour camp. 

No one else had spoken to him. To a surprising extent 
the ordinary criminals ignored the Party prisoners. "The 
polITS,' they called them, with a sort of uninterested con- 
tempt. The Party prisoners seemed terrified of speaking to 
anybody, and above all of speaking to one another. Only 
once, when two Party members, both women, were pressed 
close together on the bench, he overheard amid the din of 
voices a few hurriedly- whispered words; and in particular a 


reference to something called 'room one-oh-one', which he 
did not understand. 

It might be two or three hours ago that they had brought 
him here. The dull pain in his belly never went away, but 
sometimes it grew better and sometimes worse, and his 
thoughts expanded or contracted accordingly. When it 
grew worse he thought only of the pain itself, and of his de- 
sire for food. When it grew better, panic took hold of him. 
There were moments when he foresaw the things that would 
happen to him with such actuality that his heart galloped 
and his breath stopped. He felt the smash of truncheons on 
his elbows and iron-shod boots on his shins; he saw himself 
grovelling on the floor, screaming for mercy through bro- 
ken teeth. He hardly thought of Julia. He could not fix his 
mind on her. He loved her and would not betray her; but 
that was only a fact, known as he knew the rules of arith- 
metic. He felt no love for her, and he hardly even wondered 
what was happening to her. He thought oftener of O'Brien, 
with a flickering hope. O'Brien might know that he had 
been arrested. The Brotherhood, he had said, never tried to 
save its members. But there was the razor blade; they would 
send the razor blade if they could. There would be perhaps 
five seconds before the guard could rush into the cell. The 
blade would bite into him with a sort of burning coldness, 
and even the fingers that held it would be cut to the bone. 
Everything came back to his sick body, which shrank trem- 
bling from the smallest pain. He was not certain that he 
would use the razor blade even if he got the chance. It was 
more natural to exist from moment to moment, accepting 

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another ten minutes' life even with the certainty that there 
was torture at the end of it. 

Sometimes he tried to calculate the number of porcelain 
bricks in the walls of the cell. It should have been easy, but 
he always lost count at some point or another. More often he 
wondered where he was, and what time of day it was. At one 
moment he felt certain that it was broad daylight outside, 
and at the next equally certain that it was pitch darkness. In 
this place, he knew instinctively, the lights would never be 
turned out. It was the place with no darkness: he saw now 
why O'Brien had seemed to recognize the allusion. In the 
Ministry of Love there were no windows. His cell might be 
at the heart of the building or against its outer wall; it might 
be ten floors below ground, or thirty above it. He moved 
himself mentally from place to place, and tried to deter- 
mine by the feeling of his body whether he was perched 
high in the air or buried deep underground. 

There was a sound of marching boots outside. The steel 
door opened with a clang. A young officer, a trim black-uni- 
formed figure who seemed to glitter all over with polished 
leather, and whose pale, straight-featured face was like a 
wax mask, stepped smartly through the doorway. He mo- 
tioned to the guards outside to bring in the prisoner they 
were leading. The poet Ampleforth shambled into the cell. 
The door clanged shut again. 

Ampleforth made one or two uncertain movements from 
side to side, as though having some idea that there was an- 
other door to go out of, and then began to wander up and 
down the cell. He had not yet noticed Winston's presence. 


His troubled eyes were gazing at the wall about a metre 
above the level of Winston's head. He was shoeless; large, 
dirty toes were sticking out of the holes in his socks. He 
was also several days away from a shave. A scrubby beard 
covered his face to the cheekbones, giving him an air of 
ruffianism that went oddly with his large weak frame and 
nervous movements. 

Winston roused himself a little from his lethargy. He 
must speak to Ampleforth, and risk the yell from the tele- 
screen. It was even conceivable that Ampleforth was the 
bearer of the razor blade. 

Ampleforth,' he said. 

There was no yell from the telescreen. Ampleforth 
paused, mildly startled. His eyes focused themselves slowly 
on Winston. 

Ah, Smith!' he said. 'You too!' 

'What are you in for?' 

'To tell you the truth — ' He sat down awkwardly on the 
bench opposite Winston. 'There is only one offence, is there 
not?' he said. 

And have you committed it?' 

Apparently I have.' 

He put a hand to his forehead and pressed his temples for 
a moment, as though trying to remember something. 

'These things happen,' he began vaguely. 'I have been 
able to recall one instance — a possible instance. It was an 
indiscretion, undoubtedly. We were producing a definitive 
edition of the poems of Kipling. I allowed the word 'God' to 
remain at the end of a line. I could not help it!' he added al- 

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most indignantly, raising his face to look at Winston. 'It was 
impossible to change the line. The rhyme was 'rod". Do you 
realize that there are only twelve rhymes to 'rod' in the en- 
tire language? For days I had racked my brains. There WAS 
no other rhyme.' 

The expression on his face changed. The annoyance 
passed out of it and for a moment he looked almost pleased. 
A sort of intellectual warmth, the joy of the pedant who has 
found out some useless fact, shone through the dirt and 
scrubby hair. 

'Has it ever occurred to you,' he said, 'that the whole his- 
tory of English poetry has been determined by the fact that 
the English language lacks rhymes?' 

No, that particular thought had never occurred to Win- 
ston. Nor, in the circumstances, did it strike him as very 
important or interesting. 

'Do you know what time of day it is?' he said. 

Ampleforth looked startled again. 'I had hardly thought 
about it. They arrested me — it could be two days ago — per- 
haps three.' His eyes flitted round the walls, as though he 
half expected to find a window somewhere. 'There is no dif- 
ference between night and day in this place. I do not see 
how one can calculate the time.' 

They talked desultorily for some minutes, then, without 
apparent reason, a yell from the telescreen bade them be 
silent. Winston sat quietly, his hands crossed. Ampleforth, 
too large to sit in comfort on the narrow bench, fidgeted 
from side to side, clasping his lank hands first round one 
knee, then round the other. The telescreen barked at him to 


keep still. Time passed. Twenty minutes, an hour — it was 
difficult to judge. Once more there was a sound of boots 
outside. Winston's entrails contracted. Soon, very soon, 
perhaps in five minutes, perhaps now, the tramp of boots 
would mean that his own turn had come. 

The door opened. The cold-faced young officer stepped 
into the cell. With a brief movement of the hand he indi- 
cated Ampleforth. 

'Room 101,' he said. 

Ampleforth marched clumsily out between the guards, 
his face vaguely perturbed, but uncomprehending. 

What seemed like a long time passed. The pain in Win- 
ston's belly had revived. His mind sagged round and round 
on the same trick, like a ball falling again and again into 
the same series of slots. He had only six thoughts. The pain 
in his belly; a piece of bread; the blood and the screaming; 
O'Brien; Julia; the razor blade. There was another spasm in 
his entrails, the heavy boots were approaching. As the door 
opened, the wave of air that it created brought in a power- 
ful smell of cold sweat. Parsons walked into the cell. He was 
wearing khaki shorts and a sports-shirt. 

This time Winston was startled into self-forgetfulness. 

'YOU here!' he said. 

Parsons gave Winston a glance in which there was 
neither interest nor surprise, but only misery. He began 
walking jerkily up and down, evidently unable to keep still. 
Each time he straightened his pudgy knees it was apparent 
that they were trembling. His eyes had a wide-open, staring 
look, as though he could not prevent himself from gazing at 293 

something in the middle distance. 

'What are you in for?' said Winston. 

'Thoughtcrime!' said Parsons, almost blubbering. The 
tone of his voice implied at once a complete admission of 
his guilt and a sort of incredulous horror that such a word 
could be applied to himself. He paused opposite Winston 
and began eagerly appealing to him: 'You don't think they'll 
shoot me, do you, old chap? They don't shoot you if you 
haven't actually done anything — only thoughts, which you 
can't help? I know they give you a fair hearing. Oh, I trust 
them for that! They'll know my record, won't they? YOU 
know what kind of chap I was. Not a bad chap in my way. 
Not brainy, of course, but keen. I tried to do my best for the 
Party, didn't I? I'll get off with five years, don't you think? Or 
even ten years? A chap like me could make himself pretty 
useful in a labour- camp. They wouldn't shoot me for going 
off the rails just once?' 

'Are you guilty?' said Winston. 

'Of course I'm guilty!' cried Parsons with a servile glance 
at the telescreen. 'You don't think the Party would arrest 
an innocent man, do you?' His frog-like face grew calm- 
er, and even took on a slightly sanctimonious expression. 
'Thoughtcrime is a dreadful thing, old man,' he said senten- 
tiously 'It's insidious. It can get hold of you without your 
even knowing it. Do you know how it got hold of me? In my 
sleep! Yes, that's a fact. There I was, working away, trying to 
do my bit — never knew I had any bad stuff in my mind at all. 
And then I started talking in my sleep. Do you know what 
they heard me saying?' 


He sank his voice, like someone who is obliged for medi- 
cal reasons to utter an obscenity. 

"Down with Big Brother!' Yes, I said that! Said it over 
and over again, it seems. Between you and me, old man, I'm 
glad they got me before it went any further. Do you know 
what I'm going to say to them when I go up before the tribu- 
nal? 'Thank you,' I'm going to say, 'thank you for saving me 
before it was too late." 

'Who denounced you?' said Winston. 

'It was my little daughter,' said Parsons with a sort of 
doleful pride. 'She listened at the keyhole. Heard what I 
was saying, and nipped off to the patrols the very next day. 
Pretty smart for a nipper of seven, eh? I don't bear her any 
grudge for it. In fact I'm proud of her. It shows I brought her 
up in the right spirit, anyway' 

He made a few more jerky movements up and down, 
several times, casting a longing glance at the lavatory pan. 
Then he suddenly ripped down his shorts. 

'Excuse me, old man,' he said. T can't help it. It's the wait- 

He plumped his large posterior into the lavatory pan. 
Winston covered his face with his hands. 

'Smith!' yelled the voice from the telescreen. '6079 Smith 
W! Uncover your face. No faces covered in the cells.' 

Winston uncovered his face. Parsons used the lavatory, 
loudly and abundantly. It then turned out that the plug was 
defective and the cell stank abominably for hours after- 

Parsons was removed. More prisoners came and went, 

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mysteriously. One, a woman, was consigned to 'Room 101', 
and, Winston noticed, seemed to shrivel and turn a differ- 
ent colour when she heard the words. A time came when, if 
it had been morning when he was brought here, it would be 
afternoon; or if it had been afternoon, then it would be mid- 
night. There were six prisoners in the cell, men and women. 
All sat very still. Opposite Winston there sat a man with a 
chinless, toothy face exactly like that of some large, harm- 
less rodent. His fat, mottled cheeks were so pouched at the 
bottom that it was difficult not to believe that he had little 
stores of food tucked away there. His pale-grey eyes flitted 
timorously from face to face and turned quickly away again 
when he caught anyone's eye. 

The door opened, and another prisoner was brought in 
whose appearance sent a momentary chill through Win- 
ston. He was a commonplace, mean-looking man who 
might have been an engineer or technician of some kind. 
But what was startling was the emaciation of his face. It 
was like a skull. Because of its thinness the mouth and eyes 
looked disproportionately large, and the eyes seemed filled 
with a murderous, unappeasable hatred of somebody or 

The man sat down on the bench at a little distance from 
Winston. Winston did not look at him again, but the tor- 
mented, skull-like face was as vivid in his mind as though 
it had been straight in front of his eyes. Suddenly he real- 
ized what was the matter. The man was dying of starvation. 
The same thought seemed to occur almost simultaneously 
to everyone in the cell. There was a very faint stirring all 

296 1984 

the way round the bench. The eyes of the chinless man kept 
flitting towards the skull-faced man, then turning guiltily 
away, then being dragged back by an irresistible attraction. 
Presently he began to fidget on his seat. At last he stood up, 
waddled clumsily across the cell, dug down into the pocket 
of his overalls, and, with an abashed air, held out a grimy 
piece of bread to the skull-faced man. 

There was a furious, deafening roar from the telescreen. 
The chinless man jumped in his tracks. The skull-faced man 
had quickly thrust his hands behind his back, as though 
demonstrating to all the world that he refused the gift. 

'Bumstead!' roared the voice. '2713 Bumstead J.! Let fall 
that piece of bread!' 

The chinless man dropped the piece of bread on the 

'Remain standing where you are,' said the voice. 'Face the 
door. Make no movement.' 

The chinless man obeyed. His large pouchy cheeks were 
quivering uncontrollably. The door clanged open. As the 
young officer entered and stepped aside, there emerged 
from behind him a short stumpy guard with enormous 
arms and shoulders. He took his stand opposite the chin- 
less man, and then, at a signal from the officer, let free a 
frightful blow, with all the weight of his body behind it, full 
in the chinless man's mouth. The force of it seemed almost 
to knock him clear of the floor. His body was flung across 
the cell and fetched up against the base of the lavatory seat. 
For a moment he lay as though stunned, with dark blood 
oozing from his mouth and nose. A very faint whimper- 

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ing or squeaking, which seemed unconscious, came out of 
him. Then he rolled over and raised himself unsteadily on 
hands and knees. Amid a stream of blood and saliva, the 
two halves of a dental plate fell out of his mouth. 

The prisoners sat very still, their hands crossed on their 
knees. The chinless man climbed back into his place. Down 
one side of his face the flesh was darkening. His mouth had 
swollen into a shapeless cherry- coloured mass with a black 
hole in the middle of it. 

From time to time a little blood dripped on to the breast 
of his overalls. His grey eyes still flitted from face to face, 
more guiltily than ever, as though he were trying to discov- 
er how much the others despised him for his humiliation. 

The door opened. With a small gesture the officer indi- 
cated the skull-faced man. 

'Room 101,' he said. 

There was a gasp and a flurry at Winston's side. The man 
had actually flung himself on his knees on the floor, with 
his hand clasped together. 

'Comrade! Officer!' he cried. 'You don't have to take me to 
that place! Haven't I told you everything already? What else 
is it you want to know? There's nothing I wouldn't confess, 
nothing! Just tell me what it is and I'll confess straight off. 
Write it down and I'll sign it — anything! Not room 101!' 

'Room 101,' said the officer. 

The man's face, already very pale, turned a colour Win- 
ston would not have believed possible. It was definitely, 
unmistakably, a shade of green. 

'Do anything to me!' he yelled. 'You've been starving me 

298 1984 

for weeks. Finish it off and let me die. Shoot me. Hang me. 
Sentence me to twenty-five years. Is there somebody else 
you want me to give away? Just say who it is and I'll tell you 
anything you want. I don't care who it is or what you do to 
them. I've got a wife and three children. The biggest of them 
isn't six years old. You can take the whole lot of them and 
cut their throats in front of my eyes, and I'll stand by and 
watch it. But not Room 101!' 

'Room 101,' said the officer. 

The man looked frantically round at the other prisoners, 
as though with some idea that he could put another victim 
in his own place. His eyes settled on the smashed face of the 
chinless man. He flung out a lean arm. 

'That's the one you ought to be taking, not me!' he shout- 
ed. 'You didn't hear what he was saying after they bashed 
his face. Give me a chance and I'll tell you every word of it. 
HE'S the one that's against the Party, not me.' The guards 
stepped forward. The man's voice rose to a shriek. 'You 
didn't hear him!' he repeated. 'Something went wrong with 
the telescreen. HE'S the one you want. Take him, not me!' 

The two sturdy guards had stooped to take him by the 
arms. But just at this moment he flung himself across the 
floor of the cell and grabbed one of the iron legs that sup- 
ported the bench. He had set up a wordless howling, like an 
animal. The guards took hold of him to wrench him loose, 
but he clung on with astonishing strength. For perhaps 
twenty seconds they were hauling at him. The prisoners sat 
quiet, their hands crossed on their knees, looking straight 
in front of them. The howling stopped; the man had no 

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breath left for anything except hanging on. Then there was 
a different kind of cry. A kick from a guard's boot had bro- 
ken the fingers of one of his hands. They dragged him to 
his feet. 

'Room 101,' said the officer. 

The man was led out, walking unsteadily, with head 
sunken, nursing his crushed hand, all the fight had gone 
out of him. 

A long time passed. If it had been midnight when the 
skull-faced man was taken away, it was morning: if morn- 
ing, it was afternoon. Winston was alone, and had been 
alone for hours. The pain of sitting on the narrow bench 
was such that often he got up and walked about, unreproved 
by the telescreen. The piece of bread still lay where the chin- 
less man had dropped it. At the beginning it needed a hard 
effort not to look at it, but presently hunger gave way to 
thirst. His mouth was sticky and evil-tasting. The hum- 
ming sound and the unvarying white light induced a sort 
of faintness, an empty feeling inside his head. He would get 
up because the ache in his bones was no longer bearable, 
and then would sit down again almost at once because he 
was too dizzy to make sure of staying on his feet. Whenever 
his physical sensations were a little under control the ter- 
ror returned. Sometimes with a fading hope he thought of 
O'Brien and the razor blade. It was thinkable that the razor 
blade might arrive concealed in his food, if he were ever 
fed. More dimly he thought of Julia. Somewhere or other 
she was suffering perhaps far worse than he. She might be 
screaming with pain at this moment. He thought: 'If I could 


save Julia by doubling my own pain, would I do it? Yes, I 
would.' But that was merely an intellectual decision, taken 
because he knew that he ought to take it. He did not feel it. 
In this place you could not feel anything, except pain and 
foreknowledge of pain. Besides, was it possible, when you 
were actually suffering it, to wish for any reason that your 
own pain should increase? But that question was not an- 
swerable yet. 

The boots were approaching again. The door opened. 
O'Brien came in. 

Winston started to his feet. The shock of the sight had 
driven all caution out of him. For the first time in many 
years he forgot the presence of the telescreen. 

"They've got you too!' he cried. 

'They got me a long time ago,' said O'Brien with a mild, 
almost regretful irony. He stepped aside. From behind him 
there emerged a broad-chested guard with a long black 
truncheon in his hand. 

'You know this, Winston,' said O'Brien. 'Don't deceive 
yourself. You did know it — you have always known it.' 

Yes, he saw now, he had always known it. But there was no 
time to think of that. All he had eyes for was the truncheon 
in the guard's hand. It might fall anywhere; on the crown, 
on the tip of the ear, on the upper arm, on the elbow 

The elbow! He had slumped to his knees, almost para- 
lysed, clasping the stricken elbow with his other hand. 
Everything had exploded into yellow light. Inconceivable, 
inconceivable that one blow could cause such pain! The 
light cleared and he could see the other two looking down 

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at him. The guard was laughing at his contortions. One 
question at any rate was answered. Never, for any reason 
on earth, could you wish for an increase of pain. Of pain 
you could wish only one thing: that it should stop. Nothing 
in the world was so bad as physical pain. In the face of pain 
there are no heroes, no heroes, he thought over and over as 
he writhed on the floor, clutching uselessly at his disabled 
left arm. 


Chapter 2 

He was lying on something that felt like a camp bed, ex- 
cept that it was higher off the ground and that he was 
fixed down in some way so that he could not move. Light 
that seemed stronger than usual was falling on his face. 
O'Brien was standing at his side, looking down at him in- 
tently. At the other side of him stood a man in a white coat, 
holding a hypodermic syringe. 

Even after his eyes were open he took in his surround- 
ings only gradually. He had the impression of swimming up 
into this room from some quite different world, a sort of un- 
derwater world far beneath it. How long he had been down 
there he did not know. Since the moment when they arrest- 
ed him he had not seen darkness or daylight. Besides, his 
memories were not continuous. There had been times when 
consciousness, even the sort of consciousness that one has 
in sleep, had stopped dead and started again after a blank 
interval. But whether the intervals were of days or weeks or 
only seconds, there was no way of knowing. 

With that first blow on the elbow the nightmare had 
started. Later he was to realize that all that then happened 
was merely a preliminary, a routine interrogation to which 
nearly all prisoners were subjected. There was a long range 
of crimes — espionage, sabotage, and the like — to which ev- 
eryone had to confess as a matter of course. The confession 303 

was a formality, though the torture was real. How many 
times he had been beaten, how long the beatings had con- 
tinued, he could not remember. Always there were five or 
six men in black uniforms at him simultaneously. Some- 
times it was fists, sometimes it was truncheons, sometimes 
it was steel rods, sometimes it was boots. There were times 
when he rolled about the floor, as shameless as an animal, 
writhing his body this way and that in an endless, hopeless 
effort to dodge the kicks, and simply inviting more and yet 
more kicks, in his ribs, in his belly, on his elbows, on his 
shins, in his groin, in his testicles, on the bone at the base 
of his spine. There were times when it went on and on un- 
til the cruel, wicked, unforgivable thing seemed to him not 
that the guards continued to beat him but that he could not 
force himself into losing consciousness. There were times 
when his nerve so forsook him that he began shouting for 
mercy even before the beating began, when the mere sight 
of a fist drawn back for a blow was enough to make him 
pour forth a confession of real and imaginary crimes. There 
were other times when he started out with the resolve of 
confessing nothing, when every word had to be forced out 
of him between gasps of pain, and there were times when he 
feebly tried to compromise, when he said to himself: T will 
confess, but not yet. I must hold out till the pain becomes 
unbearable. Three more kicks, two more kicks, and then I 
will tell them what they want.' Sometimes he was beaten till 
he could hardly stand, then flung like a sack of potatoes on 
to the stone floor of a cell, left to recuperate for a few hours, 
and then taken out and beaten again. There were also longer 


periods of recovery. He remembered them dimly, because 
they were spent chiefly in sleep or stupor. He remembered 
a cell with a plank bed, a sort of shelf sticking out from the 
wall, and a tin wash-basin, and meals of hot soup and bread 
and sometimes coffee. He remembered a surly barber arriv- 
ing to scrape his chin and crop his hair, and businesslike, 
unsympathetic men in white coats feeling his pulse, tapping 
his reflexes, turning up his eyelids, running harsh fingers 
over him in search for broken bones, and shooting needles 
into his arm to make him sleep. 

The beatings grew less frequent, and became mainly a 
threat, a horror to which he could be sent back at any mo- 
ment when his answers were unsatisfactory. His questioners 
now were not ruffians in black uniforms but Party intellec- 
tuals, little rotund men with quick movements and flashing 
spectacles, who worked on him in relays over periods which 
lasted — he thought, he could not be sure — ten or twelve 
hours at a stretch. These other questioners saw to it that he 
was in constant slight pain, but it was not chiefly pain that 
they relied on. They slapped his face, wrung his ears, pulled 
his hair, made him stand on one leg, refused him leave to 
urinate, shone glaring lights in his face until his eyes ran 
with water; but the aim of this was simply to humiliate him 
and destroy his power of arguing and reasoning. Their real 
weapon was the merciless questioning that went on and on, 
hour after hour, tripping him up, laying traps for him, twist- 
ing everything that he said, convicting him at every step of 
lies and self-contradiction until he began weeping as much 
from shame as from nervous fatigue. Sometimes he would 

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weep half a dozen times in a single session. Most of the time 
they screamed abuse at him and threatened at every hesita- 
tion to deliver him over to the guards again; but sometimes 
they would suddenly change their tune, call him comrade, 
appeal to him in the name of Ingsoc and Big Brother, and 
ask him sorrowfully whether even now he had not enough 
loyalty to the Party left to make him wish to undo the evil 
he had done. When his nerves were in rags after hours of 
questioning, even this appeal could reduce him to snivel- 
ling tears. In the end the nagging voices broke him down 
more completely than the boots and fists of the guards. He 
became simply a mouth that uttered, a hand that signed, 
whatever was demanded of him. His sole concern was to 
find out what they wanted him to confess, and then confess 
it quickly, before the bullying started anew. He confessed 
to the assassination of eminent Party members, the dis- 
tribution of seditious pamphlets, embezzlement of public 
funds, sale of military secrets, sabotage of every kind. He 
confessed that he had been a spy in the pay of the Easta- 
sian government as far back as 1968. He confessed that he 
was a religious believer, an admirer of capitalism, and a sex- 
ual pervert. He confessed that he had murdered his wife, 
although he knew, and his questioners must have known, 
that his wife was still alive. He confessed that for years he 
had been in personal touch with Goldstein and had been 
a member of an underground organization which had in- 
cluded almost every human being he had ever known. It 
was easier to confess everything and implicate everybody. 
Besides, in a sense it was all true. It was true that he had 

306 1984 

been the enemy of the Party, and in the eyes of the Party 
there was no distinction between the thought and the deed. 

There were also memories of another kind. They stood 
out in his mind disconnectedly, like pictures with black- 
ness all round them. 

He was in a cell which might have been either dark or 
light, because he could see nothing except a pair of eyes. 
Near at hand some kind of instrument was ticking slow- 
ly and regularly. The eyes grew larger and more luminous. 
Suddenly he floated out of his seat, dived into the eyes, and 
was swallowed up. 

He was strapped into a chair surrounded by dials, under 
dazzling lights. A man in a white coat was reading the dials. 
There was a tramp of heavy boots outside. The door clanged 
open. The waxed-faced officer marched in, followed by two 

'Room 101,' said the officer. 

The man in the white coat did not turn round. He did not 
look at Winston either; he was looking only at the dials. 

He was rolling down a mighty corridor, a kilometre 
wide, full of glorious, golden light, roaring with laughter 
and shouting out confessions at the top of his voice. He was 
confessing everything, even the things he had succeeded 
in holding back under the torture. He was relating the en- 
tire history of his life to an audience who knew it already. 
With him were the guards, the other questioners, the men 
in white coats, O'Brien, Julia, Mr Charrington, all rolling 
down the corridor together and shouting with laughter. 
Some dreadful thing which had lain embedded in the fu- 

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ture had somehow been skipped over and had not happened. 
Everything was all right, there was no more pain, the last 
detail of his life was laid bare, understood, forgiven. 

He was starting up from the plank bed in the half-cer- 
tainty that he had heard O'Brien's voice. All through his 
interrogation, although he had never seen him, he had had 
the feeling that O'Brien was at his elbow, just out of sight. It 
was O'Brien who was directing everything. It was he who 
set the guards on to Winston and who prevented them from 
killing him. It was he who decided when Winston should 
scream with pain, when he should have a respite, when he 
should be fed, when he should sleep, when the drugs should 
be pumped into his arm. It was he who asked the ques- 
tions and suggested the answers. He was the tormentor, he 
was the protector, he was the inquisitor, he was the friend. 
And once — Winston could not remember whether it was 
in drugged sleep, or in normal sleep, or even in a moment 
of wakefulness — a voice murmured in his ear: 'Don't wor- 
ry, Winston; you are in my keeping. For seven years I have 
watched over you. Now the turning-point has come. I shall 
save you, I shall make you perfect.' He was not sure whether 
it was O'Brien's voice; but it was the same voice that had 
said to him, 'We shall meet in the place where there is no 
darkness,' in that other dream, seven years ago. 

He did not remember any ending to his interrogation. 
There was a period of blackness and then the cell, or room, 
in which he now was had gradually materialized round him. 
He was almost flat on his back, and unable to move. His 
body was held down at every essential point. Even the back 

308 1984 

of his head was gripped in some manner. O'Brien was look- 
ing down at him gravely and rather sadly. His face, seen 
from below, looked coarse and worn, with pouches under 
the eyes and tired lines from nose to chin. He was older 
than Winston had thought him; he was perhaps forty-eight 
or fifty. Under his hand there was a dial with a lever on top 
and figures running round the face. 

'I told you,' said O'Brien, 'that if we met again it would 
be here.' 

'Yes,' said Winston. 

Without any warning except a slight movement of 
O'Brien's hand, a wave of pain flooded his body. It was a 
frightening pain, because he could not see what was hap- 
pening, and he had the feeling that some mortal injury was 
being done to him. He did not know whether the thing was 
really happening, or whether the effect was electrically pro- 
duced; but his body was being wrenched out of shape, the 
joints were being slowly torn apart. Although the pain had 
brought the sweat out on his forehead, the worst of all was 
the fear that his backbone was about to snap. He set his 
teeth and breathed hard through his nose, trying to keep 
silent as long as possible. 

'You are afraid,' said O'Brien, watching his face, 'that in 
another moment something is going to break. Your especial 
fear is that it will be your backbone. You have a vivid mental 
picture of the vertebrae snapping apart and the spinal fluid 
dripping out of them. That is what you are thinking, is it 
not, Winston?' 

Winston did not answer. O'Brien drew back the lever on 

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the dial. The wave of pain receded almost as quickly as it 
had come. 

'That was forty,' said O'Brien. 'You can see that the num- 
bers on this dial run up to a hundred. Will you please 
remember, throughout our conversation, that I have it in 
my power to inflict pain on you at any moment and to what- 
ever degree I choose? If you tell me any lies, or attempt to 
prevaricate in any way, or even fall below your usual level 
of intelligence, you will cry out with pain, instantly. Do you 
understand that?' 

'Yes,' said Winston. 

O'Brien's manner became less severe. He resettled his 
spectacles thoughtfully, and took a pace or two up and 
down. When he spoke his voice was gentle and patient. He 
had the air of a doctor, a teacher, even a priest, anxious to 
explain and persuade rather than to punish. 

'I am taking trouble with you, Winston,' he said, 'because 
you are worth trouble. You know perfectly well what is the 
matter with you. You have known it for years, though you 
have fought against the knowledge. You are mentally de- 
ranged. You suffer from a defective memory. You are unable 
to remember real events and you persuade yourself that you 
remember other events which never happened. Fortunately 
it is curable. You have never cured yourself of it, because 
you did not choose to. There was a small effort of the will 
that you were not ready to make. Even now, I am well aware, 
you are clinging to your disease under the impression that 
it is a virtue. Now we will take an example. At this moment, 
which power is Oceania at war with?' 


'When I was arrested, Oceania was at war with Eastasia.' 

'With Eastasia. Good. And Oceania has always been at 
war with Eastasia, has it not?' 

Winston drew in his breath. He opened his mouth to 
speak and then did not speak. He could not take his eyes 
away from the dial. 

"The truth, please, Winston. YOUR truth. Tell me what 
you think you remember.' 

'I remember that until only a week before I was arrested, 
we were not at war with Eastasia at all. We were in alliance 
with them. The war was against Eurasia. That had lasted for 
four years. Before that ' 

O'Brien stopped him with a movement of the hand. 

'Another example,' he said. 'Some years ago you had a 
very serious delusion indeed. You believed that three men, 
three one-time Party members named Jones, Aaronson, 
and Rutherford — men who were executed for treachery 
and sabotage after making the fullest possible confession — 
were not guilty of the crimes they were charged with. You 
believed that you had seen unmistakable documentary evi- 
dence proving that their confessions were false. There was 
a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. 
You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It 
was a photograph something like this.' 

An oblong slip of newspaper had appeared between 
O'Brien's fingers. For perhaps five seconds it was within the 
angle of Winston's vision. It was a photograph, and there 
was no question of its identity. It was THE photograph. It 
was another copy of the photograph of Jones, Aaronson, 311 

and Rutherford at the party function in New York, which 
he had chanced upon eleven years ago and promptly de- 
stroyed. For only an instant it was before his eyes, then it 
was out of sight again. But he had seen it, unquestionably he 
had seen it! He made a desperate, agonizing effort to wrench 
the top half of his body free. It was impossible to move so 
much as a centimetre in any direction. For the moment he 
had even forgotten the dial. All he wanted was to hold the 
photograph in his fingers again, or at least to see it. 

'It exists!' he cried. 

'No,' said O'Brien. 

He stepped across the room. There was a memory hole 
in the opposite wall. O'Brien lifted the grating. Unseen, the 
frail slip of paper was whirling away on the current of warm 
air; it was vanishing in a flash of flame. O'Brien turned away 
from the wall. 

'Ashes,' he said. 'Not even identifiable ashes. Dust. It does 
not exist. It never existed.' 

'But it did exist! It does exist! It exists in memory. I re- 
member it. You remember it.' 

'I do not remember it,' said O'Brien. 

Winston's heart sank. That was doublethink. He had a 
feeling of deadly helplessness. If he could have been certain 
that O'Brien was lying, it would not have seemed to matter. 
But it was perfectly possible that O'Brien had really forgot- 
ten the photograph. And if so, then already he would have 
forgotten his denial of remembering it, and forgotten the 
act of forgetting. How could one be sure that it was simple 
trickery? Perhaps that lunatic dislocation in the mind could 


really happen: that was the thought that defeated him. 

O'Brien was looking down at him speculatively. More 
than ever he had the air of a teacher taking pains with a 
wayward but promising child. 

"There is a Party slogan dealing with the control of the 
past,' he said. 'Repeat it, if you please.' 

"Who controls the past controls the future: who controls 
the present controls the past," repeated Winston obedient- 

"Who controls the present controls the past," said 
O'Brien, nodding his head with slow approval. 'Is it your 
opinion, Winston, that the past has real existence?' 

Again the feeling of helplessness descended upon Win- 
ston. His eyes flitted towards the dial. He not only did not 
know whether 'yes' or 'no' was the answer that would save 
him from pain; he did not even know which answer he be- 
lieved to be the true one. 

O'Brien smiled faintly. 'You are no metaphysician, Win- 
ston,' he said. 'Until this moment you had never considered 
what is meant by existence. I will put it more precisely. Does 
the past exist concretely, in space? Is there somewhere or 
other a place, a world of solid objects, where the past is still 


"Then where does the past exist, if at all?' 

'In records. It is written down.' 

'In records. And ?' 

'In the mind. In human memories.' 

'In memory. Very well, then. We, the Party, control all 

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records, and we control all memories. Then we control the 
past, do we not?' 

'But how can you stop people remembering things?' cried 
Winston again momentarily forgetting the dial. 'It is invol- 
untary. It is outside oneself. How can you control memory? 
You have not controlled mine!' 

O'Brien's manner grew stern again. He laid his hand on 
the dial. 

'On the contrary' he said, 'YOU have not controlled it. 
That is what has brought you here. You are here because 
you have failed in humility, in self-discipline. You would 
not make the act of submission which is the price of san- 
ity You preferred to be a lunatic, a minority of one. Only 
the disciplined mind can see reality, Winston. You believe 
that reality is something objective, external, existing in its 
own right. You also believe that the nature of reality is self- 
evident. When you delude yourself into thinking that you 
see something, you assume that everyone else sees the same 
thing as you. But I tell you, Winston, that reality is not ex- 
ternal. Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else. 
Not in the individual mind, which can make mistakes, and 
in any case soon perishes: only in the mind of the Party, 
which is collective and immortal. Whatever the Party holds 
to be the truth, is truth. It is impossible to see reality except 
by looking through the eyes of the Party. That is the fact 
that you have got to relearn, Winston. It needs an act of self- 
destruction, an effort of the will. You must humble yourself 
before you can become sane.' 

He paused for a few moments, as though to allow what 


he had been saying to sink in. 

'Do you remember,' he went on, 'writing in your dia- 
ry, 'Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make 

'Yes,' said Winston. 

O'Brien held up his left hand, its back towards Winston, 
with the thumb hidden and the four fingers extended. 

'How many fingers am I holding up, Winston?' 


'And if the party says that it is not four but five — then 
how many?' 


The word ended in a gasp of pain. The needle of the dial 
had shot up to fifty-five. The sweat had sprung out all over 
Winston's body. The air tore into his lungs and issued again 
in deep groans which even by clenching his teeth he could 
not stop. O'Brien watched him, the four fingers still ex- 
tended. He drew back the lever. This time the pain was only 
slightly eased. 

'How many fingers, Winston?' 


The needle went up to sixty. 

'How many fingers, Winston?' 

'Four! Four! What else can I say? Four!' 

The needle must have risen again, but he did not look at 
it. The heavy, stern face and the four fingers filled his vision. 
The fingers stood up before his eyes like pillars, enormous, 
blurry, and seeming to vibrate, but unmistakably four. 

'How many fingers, Winston?' 315 

'Four! Stop it, stop it! How can you go on? Four! Four!' 

'How many fingers, Winston?' 

'Five! Five! Five!' 

'No, Winston, that is no use. You are lying. You still think 
there are four. How many fingers, please?' 

'Four! five! Four! Anything you like. Only stop it, stop 
the pain!' 

Abruptly he was sitting up with O'Brien's arm round his 
shoulders. He had perhaps lost consciousness for a few sec- 
onds. The bonds that had held his body down were loosened. 
He felt very cold, he was shaking uncontrollably, his teeth 
were chattering, the tears were rolling down his cheeks. For 
a moment he clung to O'Brien like a baby, curiously com- 
forted by the heavy arm round his shoulders. He had the 
feeling that O'Brien was his protector, that the pain was 
something that came from outside, from some other source, 
and that it was O'Brien who would save him from it. 

'You are a slow learner, Winston,' said O'Brien gently. 

'How can I help it?' he blubbered. 'How can I help seeing 
what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four.' 

Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Some- 
times they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. 
You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.' 

He laid Winston down on the bed. The grip of his limbs 
tightened again, but the pain had ebbed away and the 
trembling had stopped, leaving him merely weak and cold. 
O'Brien motioned with his head to the man in the white 
coat, who had stood immobile throughout the proceedings. 
The man in the white coat bent down and looked closely 

316 1984 

into Winston's eyes, felt his pulse, laid an ear against his 
chest, tapped here and there, then he nodded to O'Brien. 

'Again,' said O'Brien. 

The pain flowed into Winston's body. The needle must be 
at seventy, seventy-five. He had shut his eyes this time. He 
knew that the fingers were still there, and still four. All that 
mattered was somehow to stay alive until the spasm was 
over. He had ceased to notice whether he was crying out or 
not. The pain lessened again. He opened his eyes. O'Brien 
had drawn back the lever. 

'How many fingers, Winston?' 

'Four. I suppose there are four. I would see five if I could. 
I am trying to see five.' 

'Which do you wish: to persuade me that you see five, or 
really to see them?' 

'Really to see them.' 

Again,' said O'Brien. 

Perhaps the needle was eighty — ninety. Winston could 
not intermittently remember why the pain was happening. 
Behind his screwed-up eyelids a forest of fingers seemed to 
be moving in a sort of dance, weaving in and out, disap- 
pearing behind one another and reappearing again. He was 
trying to count them, he could not remember why. He knew 
only that it was impossible to count them, and that this was 
somehow due to the mysterious identity between five and 
four. The pain died down again. When he opened his eyes 
it was to find that he was still seeing the same thing. In- 
numerable fingers, like moving trees, were still streaming 
past in either direction, crossing and recrossing. He shut 

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his eyes again. 

'How many fingers am I holding up, Winston?' 

'I don't know. I don't know. You will kill me if you do that 
again. Four, five, six — in all honesty I don't know.' 

'Better,' said O'Brien. 

A needle slid into Winston's arm. Almost in the same in- 
stant a blissful, healing warmth spread all through his body. 
The pain was already half-forgotten. He opened his eyes 
and looked up gratefully at O'Brien. At sight of the heavy, 
lined face, so ugly and so intelligent, his heart seemed to 
turn over. If he could have moved he would have stretched 
out a hand and laid it on O'Brien's arm. He had never loved 
him so deeply as at this moment, and not merely because 
he had stopped the pain. The old feeling, that at bottom it 
did not matter whether O'Brien was a friend or an enemy, 
had come back. O'Brien was a person who could be talked 
to. Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be 
understood. O'Brien had tortured him to the edge of luna- 
cy, and in a little while, it was certain, he would send him 
to his death. It made no difference. In some sense that went 
deeper than friendship, they were intimates: somewhere or 
other, although the actual words might never be spoken, 
there was a place where they could meet and talk. O'Brien 
was looking down at him with an expression which suggest- 
ed that the same thought might be in his own mind. When 
he spoke it was in an easy, conversational tone. 

'Do you know where you are, Winston?' he said. 

'I don't know. I can guess. In the Ministry of Love.' 

'Do you know how long you have been here?' 

318 1984 

'I don't know. Days, weeks, months — I think it is 

'And why do you imagine that we bring people to this 

'To make them confess.' 

'No, that is not the reason. Try again.' 

'To punish them.' 

'No!' exclaimed O'Brien. His voice had changed extraor- 
dinarily, and his face had suddenly become both stern and 
animated. 'No! Not merely to extract your confession, not to 
punish you. Shall I tell you why we have brought you here? 
To cure you! To make you sane! Will you understand, Win- 
ston, that no one whom we bring to this place ever leaves 
our hands uncured? We are not interested in those stupid 
crimes that you have committed. The Party is not interested 
in the overt act: the thought is all we care about. We do not 
merely destroy our enemies, we change them. Do you un- 
derstand what I mean by that?' 

He was bending over Winston. His face looked enormous 
because of its nearness, and hideously ugly because it was 
seen from below. Moreover it was filled with a sort of exal- 
tation, a lunatic intensity. Again Winston's heart shrank. If 
it had been possible he would have cowered deeper into the 
bed. He felt certain that O'Brien was about to twist the dial 
out of sheer wantonness. At this moment, however, O'Brien 
turned away. He took a pace or two up and down. Then he 
continued less vehemently: 

'The first thing for you to understand is that in this place 
there are no martyrdoms. You have read of the religious 319 

persecutions of the past. In the Middle Ages there was the 
Inquisition. It was a failure. It set out to eradicate heresy, and 
ended by perpetuating it. For every heretic it burned at the 
stake, thousands of others rose up. Why was that? Because 
the Inquisition killed its enemies in the open, and killed 
them while they were still unrepentant: in fact, it killed 
them because they were unrepentant. Men were dying be- 
cause they would not abandon their true beliefs. Naturally 
all the glory belonged to the victim and all the shame to the 
Inquisitor who burned him. Later, in the twentieth century, 
there were the totalitarians, as they were called. There were 
the German Nazis and the Russian Communists. The Rus- 
sians persecuted heresy more cruelly than the Inquisition 
had done. And they imagined that they had learned from 
the mistakes of the past; they knew, at any rate, that one 
must not make martyrs. Before they exposed their victims 
to public trial, they deliberately set themselves to destroy 
their dignity. They wore them down by torture and solitude 
until they were despicable, cringing wretches, confessing 
whatever was put into their mouths, covering themselves 
with abuse, accusing and sheltering behind one another, 
whimpering for mercy. And yet after only a few years the 
same thing had happened over again. The dead men had 
become martyrs and their degradation was forgotten. Once 
again, why was it? In the first place, because the confessions 
that they had made were obviously extorted and untrue. We 
do not make mistakes of that kind. All the confessions that 
are uttered here are true. We make them true. And above 
all we do not allow the dead to rise up against us. You must 


stop imagining that posterity will vindicate you, Winston. 
Posterity will never hear of you. You will be lifted clean out 
from the stream of history. We shall turn you into gas and 
pour you into the stratosphere. Nothing will remain of you, 
not a name in a register, not a memory in a living brain. You 
will be annihilated in the past as well as in the future. You 
will never have existed.' 

Then why bother to torture me? thought Winston, with a 
momentary bitterness. O'Brien checked his step as though 
Winston had uttered the thought aloud. His large ugly face 
came nearer, with the eyes a little narrowed. 

'You are thinking,' he said, 'that since we intend to de- 
stroy you utterly, so that nothing that you say or do can 
make the smallest difference — in that case, why do we go to 
the trouble of interrogating you first? That is what you were 
thinking, was it not?' 

'Yes,' said Winston. 

O'Brien smiled slightly. 'You are a flaw in the pattern, 
Winston. You are a stain that must be wiped out. Did I not 
tell you just now that we are different from the persecutors 
of the past? We are not content with negative obedience, nor 
even with the most abject submission. When finally you 
surrender to us, it must be of your own free will. We do not 
destroy the heretic because he resists us: so long as he re- 
sists us we never destroy him. We convert him, we capture 
his inner mind, we reshape him. We burn all evil and all 
illusion out of him; we bring him over to our side, not in ap- 
pearance, but genuinely, heart and soul. We make him one 
of ourselves before we kill him. It is intolerable to us that 

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an erroneous thought should exist anywhere in the world, 
however secret and powerless it may be. Even in the instant 
of death we cannot permit any deviation. In the old days the 
heretic walked to the stake still a heretic, proclaiming his 
heresy, exulting in it. Even the victim of the Russian purges 
could carry rebellion locked up in his skull as he walked 
down the passage waiting for the bullet. But we make the 
brain perfect before we blow it out. The command of the old 
despotisms was "Thou shalt not". The command of the total- 
itarians was 'Thou shalt". Our command is 'THOU ART". 
No one whom we bring to this place ever stands out against 
us. Everyone is washed clean. Even those three miserable 
traitors in whose innocence you once believed — Jones, Aar- 
onson, and Rutherford — in the end we broke them down. I 
took part in their interrogation myself. I saw them gradu- 
ally worn down, whimpering, grovelling, weeping — and in 
the end it was not with pain or fear, only with penitence. 
By the time we had finished with them they were only the 
shells of men. There was nothing left in them except sor- 
row for what they had done, and love of Big Brother. It was 
touching to see how they loved him. They begged to be shot 
quickly, so that they could die while their minds were still 

His voice had grown almost dreamy. The exaltation, the 
lunatic enthusiasm, was still in his face. He is not pretend- 
ing, thought Winston, he is not a hypocrite, he believes 
every word he says. What most oppressed him was the con- 
sciousness of his own intellectual inferiority. He watched 
the heavy yet graceful form strolling to and fro, in and out 


of the range of his vision. O'Brien was a being in all ways 
larger than himself. There was no idea that he had ever had, 
or could have, that O'Brien had not long ago known, ex- 
amined, and rejected. His mind CONTAINED Winston's 
mind. But in that case how could it be true that O'Brien was 
mad? It must be he, Winston, who was mad. O'Brien halted 
and looked down at him. His voice had grown stern again. 

'Do not imagine that you will save yourself, Winston, 
however completely you surrender to us. No one who has 
once gone astray is ever spared. And even if we chose to let 
you live out the natural term of your life, still you would 
never escape from us. What happens to you here is for ever. 
Understand that in advance. We shall crush you down to 
the point from which there is no coming back. Things will 
happen to you from which you could not recover, if you 
lived a thousand years. Never again will you be capable of 
ordinary human feeling. Everything will be dead inside 
you. Never again will you be capable of love, or friendship, 
or joy of living, or laughter, or curiosity, or courage, or in- 
tegrity. You will be hollow. We shall squeeze you empty, and 
then we shall fill you with ourselves.' 

He paused and signed to the man in the white coat. 
Winston was aware of some heavy piece of apparatus being 
pushed into place behind his head. O'Brien had sat down 
beside the bed, so that his face was almost on a level with 

'Three thousand,' he said, speaking over Winston's head 
to the man in the white coat. 

Two soft pads, which felt slightly moist, clamped them- 

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selves against Winston's temples. He quailed. There was 
pain coming, a new kind of pain. O'Brien laid a hand reas- 
suringly, almost kindly, on his. 

"This time it will not hurt,' he said. 'Keep your eyes fixed 
on mine.' 

At this moment there was a devastating explosion, or what 
seemed like an explosion, though it was not certain whether 
there was any noise. There was undoubtedly a blinding flash 
of light. Winston was not hurt, only prostrated. Although 
he had already been lying on his back when the thing hap- 
pened, he had a curious feeling that he had been knocked 
into that position. A terrific painless blow had flattened him 
out. Also something had happened inside his head. As his 
eyes regained their focus he remembered who he was, and 
where he was, and recognized the face that was gazing into 
his own; but somewhere or other there was a large patch 
of emptiness, as though a piece had been taken out of his 

'It will not last,' said O'Brien. 'Look me in the eyes. What 
country is Oceania at war with?' 

Winston thought. He knew what was meant by Oceania 
and that he himself was a citizen of Oceania. He also re- 
membered Eurasia and Eastasia; but who was at war with 
whom he did not know. In fact he had not been aware that 
there was any war. 

'I don't remember.' 

'Oceania is at war with Eastasia. Do you remember that 



'Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia. Since the 
beginning of your life, since the beginning of the Party, 
since the beginning of history, the war has continued with- 
out a break, always the same war. Do you remember that?' 


'Eleven years ago you created a legend about three men 
who had been condemned to death for treachery. You pre- 
tended that you had seen a piece of paper which proved 
them innocent. No such piece of paper ever existed. You in- 
vented it, and later you grew to believe in it. You remember 
now the very moment at which you first invented it. Do you 
remember that?' 


'Just now I held up the fingers of my hand to you. You saw 
five fingers. Do you remember that?' 


O'Brien held up the fingers of his left hand, with the 
thumb concealed. 

'There are five fingers there. Do you see five fingers?' 


And he did see them, for a fleeting instant, before the 
scenery of his mind changed. He saw five fingers, and there 
was no deformity. Then everything was normal again, and 
the old fear, the hatred, and the bewilderment came crowd- 
ing back again. But there had been a moment — he did not 
know how long, thirty seconds, perhaps — of luminous cer- 
tainty, when each new suggestion of O'Brien's had filled up 
a patch of emptiness and become absolute truth, and when 
two and two could have been three as easily as five, if that 

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were what was needed. It had faded but before O'Brien had 
dropped his hand; but though he could not recapture it, he 
could remember it, as one remembers a vivid experience at 
some period of one's life when one was in effect a different 

'You see now,' said O'Brien, 'that it is at any rate possi- 

'Yes,' said Winston. 

O'Brien stood up with a satisfied air. Over to his left 
Winston saw the man in the white coat break an ampoule 
and draw back the plunger of a syringe. O'Brien turned to 
Winston with a smile. In almost the old manner he resettled 
his spectacles on his nose. 

'Do you remember writing in your diary' he said, 'that 
it did not matter whether I was a friend or an enemy, since 
I was at least a person who understood you and could be 
talked to? You were right. I enjoy talking to you. Your mind 
appeals to me. It resembles my own mind except that you 
happen to be insane. Before we bring the session to an end 
you can ask me a few questions, if you choose.' 

'Any question I like?' 

'Anything.' He saw that Winston's eyes were upon the 
dial. 'It is switched off. What is your first question?' 

'What have you done with Julia?' said Winston. 

O'Brien smiled again. 'She betrayed you, Winston. Im- 
mediately — unreservedly. I have seldom seen anyone come 
over to us so promptly. You would hardly recognize her if 
you saw her. All her rebelliousness, her deceit, her folly, her 
dirty- mindedness — everything has been burned out of her. 

326 1984 

It was a perfect conversion, a textbook case.' 

'You tortured her?' 

O'Brien left this unanswered. 'Next question,' he said. 

'Does Big Brother exist?' 

'Of course he exists. The Party exists. Big Brother is the 
embodiment of the Party.' 

'Does he exist in the same way as I exist?' 

'You do not exist,' said O'Brien. 

Once again the sense of helplessness assailed him. He 
knew, or he could imagine, the arguments which proved 
his own nonexistence; but they were nonsense, they were 
only a play on words. Did not the statement, 'You do not ex- 
ist', contain a logical absurdity? But what use was it to say 
so? His mind shrivelled as he thought of the unanswerable, 
mad arguments with which O'Brien would demolish him. 

'I think I exist,' he said wearily. 'I am conscious of my 
own identity. I was born and I shall die. I have arms and 
legs. I occupy a particular point in space. No other solid 
object can occupy the same point simultaneously. In that 
sense, does Big Brother exist?' 

'It is of no importance. He exists.' 

'Will Big Brother ever die?' 

'Of course not. How could he die? Next question.' 

'Does the Brotherhood exist?' 

"That, Winston, you will never know. If we choose to set 
you free when we have finished with you, and if you live to 
be ninety years old, still you will never learn whether the 
answer to that question is Yes or No. As long as you live it 
will be an unsolved riddle in your mind.' 

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Winston lay silent. His breast rose and fell a little faster. 
He still had not asked the question that had come into his 
mind the first. He had got to ask it, and yet it was as though 
his tongue would not utter it. There was a trace of amuse- 
ment in O'Brien's face. Even his spectacles seemed to wear 
an ironical gleam. He knows, thought Winston suddenly, 
he knows what I am going to ask! At the thought the words 
burst out of him: 

'What is in Room 101?' 

The expression on O'Brien's face did not change. He an- 
swered drily: 

'You know what is in Room 101, Winston. Everyone 
knows what is in Room 101.' 

He raised a finger to the man in the white coat. Evidently 
the session was at an end. A needle jerked into Winston's 
arm. He sank almost instantly into deep sleep. 


Chapter 3 

^ There are three stages in your reintegration,' said O'Brien. 
"There is learning, there is understanding, and there is ac- 
ceptance. It is time for you to enter upon the second stage.' 

As always, Winston was lying flat on his back. But of late 
his bonds were looser. They still held him to the bed, but 
he could move his knees a little and could turn his head 
from side to side and raise his arms from the elbow. The 
dial, also, had grown to be less of a terror. He could evade its 
pangs if he was quick-witted enough: it was chiefly when he 
showed stupidity that O'Brien pulled the lever. Sometimes 
they got through a whole session without use of the dial. 
He could not remember how many sessions there had been. 
The whole process seemed to stretch out over a long, indefi- 
nite time — weeks, possibly — and the intervals between the 
sessions might sometimes have been days, sometimes only 
an hour or two. 

'As you lie there,' said O'Brien, 'y ou have often won- 
dered — you have even asked me — why the Ministry of Love 
should expend so much time and trouble on you. And when 
you were free you were puzzled by what was essentially the 
same question. You could grasp the mechanics of the So- 
ciety you lived in, but not its underlying motives. Do you 
remember writing in your diary, 'I understand HOW: I do 
not understand WHY'? It was when you thought about 

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'why' that you doubted your own sanity. You have read THE 
BOOK, Goldstein's book, or parts of it, at least. Did it tell 
you anything that you did not know already?' 

'You have read it?' said Winston. 

'I wrote it. That is to say, I collaborated in writing it. No 
book is produced individually, as you know.' 

'Is it true, what it says?' 

'As description, yes. The programme it sets forth is non- 
sense. The secret accumulation of knowledge — a gradual 
spread of enlightenment — ultimately a proletarian rebel- 
lion — the overthrow of the Party. You foresaw yourself that 
that was what it would say. It is all nonsense. The proletar- 
ians will never revolt, not in a thousand years or a million. 
They cannot. I do not have to tell you the reason: you know 
it already. If you have ever cherished any dreams of violent 
insurrection, you must abandon them. There is no way in 
which the Party can be overthrown. The rule of the Party is 
for ever. Make that the starting-point of your thoughts.' 

He came closer to the bed. 'For ever!' he repeated. 'And 
now let us get back to the question of 'how' and 'why". You 
understand well enough HOW the Party maintains itself 
in power. Now tell me WHY we cling to power. What is 
our motive? Why should we want power? Go on, speak,' he 
added as Winston remained silent. 

Nevertheless Winston did not speak for another mo- 
ment or two. A feeling of weariness had overwhelmed him. 
The faint, mad gleam of enthusiasm had come back into 
O'Brien's face. He knew in advance what O'Brien would say. 
That the Party did not seek power for its own ends, but only 


for the good of the majority. That it sought power because 
men in the mass were frail, cowardly creatures who could 
not endure liberty or face the truth, and must be ruled over 
and systematically deceived by others who were stronger 
than themselves. That the choice for mankind lay between 
freedom and happiness, and that, for the great bulk of man- 
kind, happiness was better. That the party was the eternal 
guardian of the weak, a dedicated sect doing evil that good 
might come, sacrificing its own happiness to that of oth- 
ers. The terrible thing, thought Winston, the terrible thing 
was that when O'Brien said this he would believe it. You 
could see it in his face. O'Brien knew everything. A thou- 
sand times better than Winston he knew what the world 
was really like, in what degradation the mass of human be- 
ings lived and by what lies and barbarities the Party kept 
them there. He had understood it all, weighed it all, and it 
made no difference: all was justified by the ultimate purpose. 
What can you do, thought Winston, against the lunatic who 
is more intelligent than yourself, who gives your arguments 
a fair hearing and then simply persists in his lunacy? 

'You are ruling over us for our own good,' he said feebly. 
You believe that human beings are not fit to govern them- 
selves, and therefore ' 

He started and almost cried out. A pang of pain had shot 
through his body. O'Brien had pushed the lever of the dial 
up to thirty-five. 

'That was stupid, Winston, stupid!' he said. You should 
know better than to say a thing like that.' 

He pulled the lever back and continued: 

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'Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. 
The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not 
interested in the good of others; we are interested solely 
in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: 
only power, pure power. What pure power means you will 
understand presently. We are different from all the oligar- 
chies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All 
the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cow- 
ards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian 
Communists came very close to us in their methods, but 
they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. 
They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had 
seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that 
just round the corner there lay a paradise where human be- 
ings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know 
that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relin- 
quishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not 
establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; 
one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictator- 
ship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of 
torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you 
begin to understand me?' 

Winston was struck, as he had been struck before, by the 
tiredness of O'Brien's face. It was strong and fleshy and bru- 
tal, it was full of intelligence and a sort of controlled passion 
before which he felt himself helpless; but it was tired. There 
were pouches under the eyes, the skin sagged from the 
cheekbones. O'Brien leaned over him, deliberately bringing 
the worn face nearer. 


'You are thinking,' he said, 'that my face is old and tired. 
You are thinking that I talk of power, and yet I am not even 
able to prevent the decay of my own body. Can you not un- 
derstand, Winston, that the individual is only a cell? The 
weariness of the cell is the vigour of the organism. Do you 
die when you cut your fingernails?' 

He turned away from the bed and began strolling up and 
down again, one hand in his pocket. 

'We are the priests of power,' he said. 'God is power. But 
at present power is only a word so far as you are concerned. 
It is time for you to gather some idea of what power means. 
The first thing you must realize is that power is collective. 
The individual only has power in so far as he ceases to be an 
individual. You know the Party slogan: 'Freedom is Slavery". 
Has it ever occurred to you that it is reversible? Slavery is 
freedom. Alone — free — the human being is always defeated. 
It must be so, because every human being is doomed to die, 
which is the greatest of all failures. But if he can make com- 
plete, utter submission, if he can escape from his identity, 
if he can merge himself in the Party so that he IS the Party, 
then he is all-powerful and immortal. The second thing for 
you to realize is that power is power over human beings. 
Over the body — but, above all, over the mind. Power over 
matter — external reality, as you would call it — is not impor- 
tant. Already our control over matter is absolute.' 

For a moment Winston ignored the dial. He made a vio- 
lent effort to raise himself into a sitting position, and merely 
succeeded in wrenching his body painfully. 

'But how can you control matter?' he burst out. 'You don't 

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even control the climate or the law of gravity. And there are 
disease, pain, death ' 

O'Brien silenced him by a movement of his hand. 'We 
control matter because we control the mind. Reality is in- 
side the skull. You will learn by degrees, Winston. There is 
nothing that we could not do. Invisibility, levitation — any- 
thing. I could float off this floor like a soap bubble if I wish 
to. I do not wish to, because the Party does not wish it. You 
must get rid of those nineteenth- century ideas about the 
laws of Nature. We make the laws of Nature.' 

'But you do not! You are not even masters of this planet. 
What about Eurasia and Eastasia? You have not conquered 
them yet.' 

'Unimportant. We shall conquer them when it suits us. 
And if we did not, what difference would it make? We can 
shut them out of existence. Oceania is the world.' 

'But the world itself is only a speck of dust. And man is 
tiny — helpless! How long has he been in existence? For mil- 
lions of years the earth was uninhabited.' 

'Nonsense. The earth is as old as we are, no older. How 
could it be older? Nothing exists except through human 

'But the rocks are full of the bones of extinct animals — 
mammoths and mastodons and enormous reptiles which 
lived here long before man was ever heard of 

'Have you ever seen those bones, Winston? Of course not. 
Nineteenth- century biologists invented them. Before man 
there was nothing. After man, if he could come to an end, 
there would be nothing. Outside man there is nothing.' 


'But the whole universe is outside us. Look at the stars! 
Some of them are a million light-years away. They are out of 
our reach for ever.' 

'What are the stars?' said O'Brien indifferently. 'They are 
bits of fire a few kilometres away. We could reach them if we 
wanted to. Or we could blot them out. The earth is the cen- 
tre of the universe. The sun and the stars go round it.' 

Winston made another convulsive movement. This time 
he did not say anything. O'Brien continued as though an- 
swering a spoken objection: 

'For certain purposes, of course, that is not true. When 
we navigate the ocean, or when we predict an eclipse, we of- 
ten find it convenient to assume that the earth goes round 
the sun and that the stars are millions upon millions of ki- 
lometres away. But what of it? Do you suppose it is beyond 
us to produce a dual system of astronomy? The stars can be 
near or distant, according as we need them. Do you suppose 
our mathematicians are unequal to that? Have you forgot- 
ten doublethink?' 

Winston shrank back upon the bed. Whatever he said, 
the swift answer crushed him like a bludgeon. And yet he 
knew, he KNEW, that he was in the right. The belief that 
nothing exists outside your own mind — surely there must 
be some way of demonstrating that it was false? Had it not 
been exposed long ago as a fallacy? There was even a name 
for it, which he had forgotten. A faint smile twitched the 
corners of O'Brien's mouth as he looked down at him. 

T told you, Winston,' he said, 'that metaphysics is not 
your strong point. The word you are trying to think of is 335 

solipsism. But you are mistaken. This is not solipsism. Col- 
lective solipsism, if you like. But that is a different thing: in 
fact, the opposite thing. All this is a digression,' he added 
in a different tone. 'The real power, the power we have to 
fight for night and day, is not power over things, but over 
men.' He paused, and for a moment assumed again his air 
of a schoolmaster questioning a promising pupil: 'How does 
one man assert his power over another, Winston?' 

Winston thought. 'By making him suffer,' he said. 

'Exactly By making him suffer. Obedience is not enough. 
Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obey- 
ing your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain 
and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces 
and putting them together again in new shapes of your own 
choosing. Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we 
are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonis- 
tic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear 
and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being 
trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but MORE 
merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be 
progress towards more pain. The old civilizations claimed 
that they were founded on love or justice. Ours is founded 
upon hatred. In our world there will be no emotions ex- 
cept fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement. Everything 
else we shall destroy — everything. Already we are break- 
ing down the habits of thought which have survived from 
before the Revolution. We have cut the links between child 
and parent, and between man and man, and between man 
and woman. No one dares trust a wife or a child or a friend 

336 1984 

any longer. But in the future there will be no wives and 
no friends. Children will be taken from their mothers at 
birth, as one takes eggs from a hen. The sex instinct will be 
eradicated. Procreation will be an annual formality like the 
renewal of a ration card. We shall abolish the orgasm. Our 
neurologists are at work upon it now. There will be no loy- 
alty, except loyalty towards the Party. There will be no love, 
except the love of Big Brother. There will be no laughter, ex- 
cept the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy. There will 
be no art, no literature, no science. When we are omnipo- 
tent we shall have no more need of science. There will be no 
distinction between beauty and ugliness. There will be no 
curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing 
pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, 
Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, 
constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Al- 
ways, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, 
the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If 
you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping 
on a human face — for ever.' 

He paused as though he expected Winston to speak. 
Winston had tried to shrink back into the surface of the bed 
again. He could not say anything. His heart seemed to be 
frozen. O'Brien went on: 

And remember that it is for ever. The face will always 
be there to be stamped upon. The heretic, the enemy of so- 
ciety, will always be there, so that he can be defeated and 
humiliated over again. Everything that you have undergone 
since you have been in our hands — all that will continue, 

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and worse. The espionage, the betrayals, the arrests, the tor- 
tures, the executions, the disappearances will never cease. 
It will be a world of terror as much as a world of triumph. 
The more the Party is powerful, the less it will be tolerant: 
the weaker the opposition, the tighter the despotism. Gold- 
stein and his heresies will live for ever. Every day, at every 
moment, they will be defeated, discredited, ridiculed, spat 
upon and yet they will always survive. This drama that I 
have played out with you during seven years will be played 
out over and over again generation after generation, always 
in subtler forms. Always we shall have the heretic here at our 
mercy, screaming with pain, broken up, contemptible — and 
in the end utterly penitent, saved from himself, crawling to 
our feet of his own accord. That is the world that we are pre- 
paring, Winston. A world of victory after victory, triumph 
after triumph after triumph: an endless pressing, pressing, 
pressing upon the nerve of power. You are beginning, I can 
see, to realize what that world will be like. But in the end 
you will do more than understand it. You will accept it, wel- 
come it, become part of it.' 

Winston had recovered himself sufficiently to speak. 
'You can't!' he said weakly. 

'What do you mean by that remark, Winston?' 

'You could not create such a world as you have just de- 
scribed. It is a dream. It is impossible.' 


'It is impossible to found a civilization on fear and hatred 
and cruelty. It would never endure.' 

'Why not?' 

338 1984 

'It would have no vitality. It would disintegrate. It would 
commit suicide.' 

'Nonsense. You are under the impression that hatred is 
more exhausting than love. Why should it be? And if it were, 
what difference would that make? Suppose that we choose 
to wear ourselves out faster. Suppose that we quicken the 
tempo of human life till men are senile at thirty. Still what 
difference would it make? Can you not understand that the 
death of the individual is not death? The party is immor- 

As usual, the voice had battered Winston into helpless- 
ness. Moreover he was in dread that if he persisted in his 
disagreement O'Brien would twist the dial again. And yet 
he could not keep silent. Feebly, without arguments, with 
nothing to support him except his inarticulate horror of 
what O'Brien had said, he returned to the attack. 

'I don't know — I don't care. Somehow you will fail. Some- 
thing will defeat you. Life will defeat you.' 

'We control life, Winston, at all its levels. You are imag- 
ining that there is something called human nature which 
will be outraged by what we do and will turn against us. But 
we create human nature. Men are infinitely malleable. Or 
perhaps you have returned to your old idea that the prole- 
tarians or the slaves will arise and overthrow us. Put it out 
of your mind. They are helpless, like the animals. Humanity 
is the Party. The others are outside — irrelevant.' 

'I don't care. In the end they will beat you. Sooner or later 
they will see you for what you are, and then they will tear 
you to pieces.' 

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'Do you see any evidence that that is happening? Or any 
reason why it should?' 

'No. I believe it. I KNOW that you will fail. There is 
something in the universe — I don't know, some spirit, some 
principle — that you will never overcome.' 

'Do you believe in God, Winston?' 


'Then what is it, this principle that will defeat us?' 

'I don't know. The spirit of Man.' 

'And do you consider yourself a man?' 


'If you are a man, Winston, you are the last man. Your 
kind is extinct; we are the inheritors. Do you understand 
that you are ALONE? You are outside history, you are non- 
existent.' His manner changed and he said more harshly: 
And you consider yourself morally superior to us, with our 
lies and our cruelty?' 

'Yes, I consider myself superior.' 

O'Brien did not speak. Two other voices were speaking. 
After a moment Winston recognized one of them as his 
own. It was a sound-track of the conversation he had had 
with O'Brien, on the night when he had enrolled himself in 
the Brotherhood. He heard himself promising to lie, to steal, 
to forge, to murder, to encourage drug-taking and prosti- 
tution, to disseminate venereal diseases, to throw vitriol 
in a child's face. O'Brien made a small impatient gesture, 
as though to say that the demonstration was hardly worth 
making. Then he turned a switch and the voices stopped. 

'Get up from that bed,' he said. 


The bonds had loosened themselves. Winston lowered 
himself to the floor and stood up unsteadily. 

'You are the last man,' said O'Brien. 'You are the guard- 
ian of the human spirit. You shall see yourself as you are. 
Take off your clothes.' 

Winston undid the bit of string that held his overalls to- 
gether. The zip fastener had long since been wrenched out of 
them. He could not remember whether at any time since his 
arrest he had taken off all his clothes at one time. Beneath 
the overalls his body was looped with filthy yellowish rags, 
just recognizable as the remnants of underclothes. As he 
slid them to the ground he saw that there was a three-sided 
mirror at the far end of the room. He approached it, then 
stopped short. An involuntary cry had broken out of him. 

'Go on,' said O'Brien. 'Stand between the wings of the 
mirror. You shall see the side view as well' 

He had stopped because he was frightened. A bowed, 
grey- coloured, skeleton-like thing was coming towards 
him. Its actual appearance was frightening, and not merely 
the fact that he knew it to be himself. He moved closer to 
the glass. The creature's face seemed to be protruded, be- 
cause of its bent carriage. A forlorn, jailbird's face with a 
nobby forehead running back into a bald scalp, a crooked 
nose, and battered-looking cheekbones above which his 
eyes were fierce and watchful. The cheeks were seamed, the 
mouth had a drawn-in look. Certainly it was his own face, 
but it seemed to him that it had changed more than he had 
changed inside. The emotions it registered would be differ- 
ent from the ones he felt. He had gone partially bald. For the 

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first moment he had thought that he had gone grey as well, 
but it was only the scalp that was grey. Except for his hands 
and a circle of his face, his body was grey all over with an- 
cient, ingrained dirt. Here and there under the dirt there 
were the red scars of wounds, and near the ankle the vari- 
cose ulcer was an inflamed mass with flakes of skin peeling 
off it. But the truly frightening thing was the emaciation of 
his body. The barrel of the ribs was as narrow as that of a 
skeleton: the legs had shrunk so that the knees were thicker 
than the thighs. He saw now what O'Brien had meant about 
seeing the side view. The curvature of the spine was aston- 
ishing. The thin shoulders were hunched forward so as to 
make a cavity of the chest, the scraggy neck seemed to be 
bending double under the weight of the skull. At a guess he 
would have said that it was the body of a man of sixty, suf- 
fering from some malignant disease. 

'You have thought sometimes,' said O'Brien, 'that my 
face — the face of a member of the Inner Party — looks old 
and worn. What do you think of your own face?' 

He seized Winston's shoulder and spun him round so 
that he was facing him. 

'Look at the condition you are in!' he said. 'Look at this 
filthy grime all over your body. Look at the dirt between 
your toes. Look at that disgusting running sore on your leg. 
Do you know that you stink like a goat? Probably you have 
ceased to notice it. Look at your emaciation. Do you see? I 
can make my thumb and forefinger meet round your bicep. 
I could snap your neck like a carrot. Do you know that you 
have lost twenty-five kilograms since you have been in our 


hands? Even your hair is coming out in handfuls. Look!' He 
plucked at Winston's head and brought away a tuft of hair. 
'Open your mouth. Nine, ten, eleven teeth left. How many 
had you when you came to us? And the few you have left are 
dropping out of your head. Look here!' 

He seized one of Winston's remaining front teeth be- 
tween his powerful thumb and forefinger. A twinge of pain 
shot through Winston's jaw. O'Brien had wrenched the 
loose tooth out by the roots. He tossed it across the cell. 

'You are rotting away' he said; 'you are falling to pieces. 
What are you? A bag of filth. Now turn around and look 
into that mirror again. Do you see that thing facing you? 
That is the last man. If you are human, that is humanity. 
Now put your clothes on again.' 

Winston began to dress himself with slow stiff move- 
ments. Until now he had not seemed to notice how thin and 
weak he was. Only one thought stirred in his mind: that he 
must have been in this place longer than he had imagined. 
Then suddenly as he fixed the miserable rags round himself 
a feeling of pity for his ruined body overcame him. Before 
he knew what he was doing he had collapsed on to a small 
stool that stood beside the bed and burst into tears. He was 
aware of his ugliness, his gracelessness, a bundle of bones in 
filthy underclothes sitting weeping in the harsh white light: 
but he could not stop himself. O'Brien laid a hand on his 
shoulder, almost kindly. 

'It will not last for ever,' he said. 'You can escape from it 
whenever you choose. Everything depends on yourself 

'You did it!' sobbed Winston. 'You reduced me to this 

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'No, Winston, you reduced yourself to it. This is what you 
accepted when you set yourself up against the Party. It was 
all contained in that first act. Nothing has happened that 
you did not foresee.' 

He paused, and then went on: 

'We have beaten you, Winston. We have broken you up. 
You have seen what your body is like. Your mind is in the 
same state. I do not think there can be much pride left in 
you. You have been kicked and flogged and insulted, you 
have screamed with pain, you have rolled on the floor in 
your own blood and vomit. You have whimpered for mercy, 
you have betrayed everybody and everything. Can you think 
of a single degradation that has not happened to you?' 

Winston had stopped weeping, though the tears were 
still oozing out of his eyes. He looked up at O'Brien. 

'I have not betrayed Julia,' he said. 

O'Brien looked down at him thoughtfully. 'No,' he said; 
'no; that is perfectly true. You have not betrayed Julia.' 

The peculiar reverence for O'Brien, which nothing 
seemed able to destroy, flooded Winston's heart again. How 
intelligent, he thought, how intelligent! Never did O'Brien 
fail to understand what was said to him. Anyone else on 
earth would have answered promptly that he HAD be- 
trayed Julia. For what was there that they had not screwed 
out of him under the torture? He had told them everything 
he knew about her, her habits, her character, her past life; 
he had confessed in the most trivial detail everything that 
had happened at their meetings, all that he had said to her 


and she to him, their black-market meals, their adulteries, 
their vague plottings against the Party — everything. And 
yet, in the sense in which he intended the word, he had not 
betrayed her. He had not stopped loving her; his feelings to- 
wards her had remained the same. O'Brien had seen what 
he meant without the need for explanation. 

'Tell me,' he said, 'how soon will they shoot me?' 
'It might be a long time,' said O'Brien. 'You are a difficult 
case. But don't give up hope. Everyone is cured sooner or 
later. In the end we shall shoot you.' 

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Chapter 4 

He was much better. He was growing fatter and stronger 
every day, if it was proper to speak of days. 

The white light and the humming sound were the same 
as ever, but the cell was a little more comfortable than the 
others he had been in. There was a pillow and a mattress on 
the plank bed, and a stool to sit on. They had given him a 
bath, and they allowed him to wash himself fairly frequent- 
ly in a tin basin. They even gave him warm water to wash 
with. They had given him new underclothes and a clean suit 
of overalls. They had dressed his varicose ulcer with sooth- 
ing ointment. They had pulled out the remnants of his teeth 
and given him a new set of dentures. 

Weeks or months must have passed. It would have been 
possible now to keep count of the passage of time, if he had 
felt any interest in doing so, since he was being fed at what 
appeared to be regular intervals. He was getting, he judged, 
three meals in the twenty-four hours; sometimes he won- 
dered dimly whether he was getting them by night or by day. 
The food was surprisingly good, with meat at every third 
meal. Once there was even a packet of cigarettes. He had 
no matches, but the never-speaking guard who brought his 
food would give him a light. The first time he tried to smoke 
it made him sick, but he persevered, and spun the packet out 
for a long time, smoking half a cigarette after each meal. 

346 1984 

They had given him a white slate with a stump of pencil 
tied to the corner. At first he made no use of it. Even when 
he was awake he was completely torpid. Often he would lie 
from one meal to the next almost without stirring, some- 
times asleep, sometimes waking into vague reveries in which 
it was too much trouble to open his eyes. He had long grown 
used to sleeping with a strong light on his face. It seemed 
to make no difference, except that one's dreams were more 
coherent. He dreamed a great deal all through this time, 
and they were always happy dreams. He was in the Golden 
Country, or he was sitting among enormous glorious, sunlit 
ruins, with his mother, with Julia, with O'Brien — not do- 
ing anything, merely sitting in the sun, talking of peaceful 
things. Such thoughts as he had when he was awake were 
mostly about his dreams. He seemed to have lost the power 
of intellectual effort, now that the stimulus of pain had been 
removed. He was not bored, he had no desire for conversa- 
tion or distraction. Merely to be alone, not to be beaten or 
questioned, to have enough to eat, and to be clean all over, 
was completely satisfying. 

By degrees he came to spend less time in sleep, but he still 
felt no impulse to get off the bed. All he cared for was to lie 
quiet and feel the strength gathering in his body. He would 
finger himself here and there, trying to make sure that it 
was not an illusion that his muscles were growing round- 
er and his skin tauter. Finally it was established beyond a 
doubt that he was growing fatter; his thighs were now defi- 
nitely thicker than his knees. After that, reluctantly at first, 
he began exercising himself regularly. In a little while he 

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could walk three kilometres, measured by pacing the cell, 
and his bowed shoulders were growing straighter. He at- 
tempted more elaborate exercises, and was astonished and 
humiliated to find what things he could not do. He could 
not move out of a walk, he could not hold his stool out at 
arm's length, he could not stand on one leg without falling 
over. He squatted down on his heels, and found that with 
agonizing pains in thigh and calf he could just lift himself 
to a standing position. He lay flat on his belly and tried to 
lift his weight by his hands. It was hopeless, he could not 
raise himself a centimetre. But after a few more days — a few 
more mealtimes — even that feat was accomplished. A time 
came when he could do it six times running. He began to 
grow actually proud of his body, and to cherish an inter- 
mittent belief that his face also was growing back to normal. 
Only when he chanced to put his hand on his bald scalp did 
he remember the seamed, ruined face that had looked back 
at him out of the mirror. 

His mind grew more active. He sat down on the plank 
bed, his back against the wall and the slate on his knees, 
and set to work deliberately at the task of re-educating him- 

He had capitulated, that was agreed. In reality, as he saw 
now, he had been ready to capitulate long before he had 
taken the decision. From the moment when he was inside 
the Ministry of Love — and yes, even during those minutes 
when he and Julia had stood helpless while the iron voice 
from the telescreen told them what to do — he had grasped 
the frivolity, the shallowness of his attempt to set himself 

348 1984 

up against the power of the Party. He knew now that for 
seven years the Thought Police had watched him like a bee- 
tle under a magnifying glass. There was no physical act, no 
word spoken aloud, that they had not noticed, no train of 
thought that they had not been able to infer. Even the speck 
of whitish dust on the cover of his diary they had careful- 
ly replaced. They had played sound-tracks to him, shown 
him photographs. Some of them were photographs of Julia 
and himself. Yes, even... He could not fight against the Party 
any longer. Besides, the Party was in the right. It must be 
so; how could the immortal, collective brain be mistaken? 
By what external standard could you check its judgements? 
Sanity was statistical. It was merely a question of learning 

to think as they thought. Only ! 

The pencil felt thick and awkward in his fingers. He be- 
gan to write down the thoughts that came into his head. He 
wrote first in large clumsy capitals: 


Then almost without a pause he wrote beneath it: 


But then there came a sort of check. His mind, as though 
shying away from something, seemed unable to concen- 
trate. He knew that he knew what came next, but for the 
moment he could not recall it. When he did recall it, it was 
only by consciously reasoning out what it must be: it did not 349 

come of its own accord. He wrote: 

He accepted everything. The past was alterable. The past 
never had been altered. Oceania was at war with Eastasia. 
Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia. Jones, Aar- 
onson, and Rutherford were guilty of the crimes they were 
charged with. He had never seen the photograph that dis- 
proved their guilt. It had never existed, he had invented it. 
He remembered remembering contrary things, but those 
were false memories, products of self-deception. How easy it 
all was! Only surrender, and everything else followed. It was 
like swimming against a current that swept you backwards 
however hard you struggled, and then suddenly deciding to 
turn round and go with the current instead of opposing it. 
Nothing had changed except your own attitude: the predes- 
tined thing happened in any case. He hardly knew why he 
had ever rebelled. Everything was easy, except ! 

Anything could be true. The so-called laws of Na- 
ture were nonsense. The law of gravity was nonsense. 'If I 
wished,' O'Brien had said, 'I could float off this floor like 
a soap bubble.' Winston worked it out. 'If he THINKS he 
floats off the floor, and if I simultaneously THINK I see 
him do it, then the thing happens.' Suddenly, like a lump 
of submerged wreckage breaking the surface of water, the 
thought burst into his mind: 'It doesn't really happen. We 
imagine it. It is hallucination.' He pushed the thought un- 
der instantly. The fallacy was obvious. It presupposed that 


somewhere or other, outside oneself, there was a 'real' world 
where 'real' things happened. But how could there be such a 
world? What knowledge have we of anything, save through 
our own minds? All happenings are in the mind. Whatever 
happens in all minds, truly happens. 

He had no difficulty in disposing of the fallacy, and he 
was in no danger of succumbing to it. He realized, never- 
theless, that it ought never to have occurred to him. The 
mind should develop a blind spot whenever a dangerous 
thought presented itself. The process should be automatic, 
instinctive. CRIMESTOP, they called it in Newspeak. 

He set to work to exercise himself in crimestop. He pre- 
sented himself with propositions — 'the Party says the earth 
is flat', 'the party says that ice is heavier than water' — and 
trained himself in not seeing or not understanding the ar- 
guments that contradicted them. It was not easy. It needed 
great powers of reasoning and improvisation. The arith- 
metical problems raised, for instance, by such a statement 
as 'two and two make five' were beyond his intellectual 
grasp. It needed also a sort of athleticism of mind, an ability 
at one moment to make the most delicate use of logic and 
at the next to be unconscious of the crudest logical errors. 
Stupidity was as necessary as intelligence, and as difficult 
to attain. 

All the while, with one part of his mind, he wondered 
how soon they would shoot him. 'Everything depends on 
yourself,' O'Brien had said; but he knew that there was no 
conscious act by which he could bring it nearer. It might 
be ten minutes hence, or ten years. They might keep him 

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for years in solitary confinement, they might send him to 
a labour-camp, they might release him for a while, as they 
sometimes did. It was perfectly possible that before he was 
shot the whole drama of his arrest and interrogation would 
be enacted all over again. The one certain thing was that 
death never came at an expected moment. The tradition — 
the unspoken tradition: somehow you knew it, though you 
never heard it said — was that they shot you from behind; 
always in the back of the head, without warning, as you 
walked down a corridor from cell to cell. 

One day — but 'one day' was not the right expression; just 
as probably it was in the middle of the night: once — he fell 
into a strange, blissful reverie. He was walking down the 
corridor, waiting for the bullet. He knew that it was com- 
ing in another moment. Everything was settled, smoothed 
out, reconciled. There were no more doubts, no more argu- 
ments, no more pain, no more fear. His body was healthy 
and strong. He walked easily, with a joy of movement and 
with a feeling of walking in sunlight. He was not any longer 
in the narrow white corridors in the Ministry of Love, he 
was in the enormous sunlit passage, a kilometre wide, down 
which he had seemed to walk in the delirium induced by 
drugs. He was in the Golden Country, following the foot- 
track across the old rabbit- cropped pasture. He could feel 
the short springy turf under his feet and the gentle sun- 
shine on his face. At the edge of the field were the elm trees, 
faintly stirring, and somewhere beyond that was the stream 
where the dace lay in the green pools under the willows. 

Suddenly he started up with a shock of horror. The 


sweat broke out on his backbone. He had heard himself cry 

'Julia! Julia! Julia, my love! Julia!' 

For a moment he had had an overwhelming hallucina- 
tion of her presence. She had seemed to be not merely with 
him, but inside him. It was as though she had got into the 
texture of his skin. In that moment he had loved her far 
more than he had ever done when they were together and 
free. Also he knew that somewhere or other she was still 
alive and needed his help. 

He lay back on the bed and tried to compose himself. 
What had he done? How many years had he added to his 
servitude by that moment of weakness? 

In another moment he would hear the tramp of boots 
outside. They could not let such an outburst go unpunished. 
They would know now, if they had not known before, that 
he was breaking the agreement he had made with them. He 
obeyed the Party, but he still hated the Party. In the old 
days he had hidden a heretical mind beneath an appear- 
ance of conformity. Now he had retreated a step further: 
in the mind he had surrendered, but he had hoped to keep 
the inner heart inviolate. He knew that he was in the wrong, 
but he preferred to be in the wrong. They would understand 
that — O'Brien would understand it. It was all confessed in 
that single foolish cry. 

He would have to start all over again. It might take years. 
He ran a hand over his face, trying to familiarize himself 
with the new shape. There were deep furrows in the cheeks, 
the cheekbones felt sharp, the nose flattened. Besides, since 

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last seeing himself in the glass he had been given a complete 
new set of teeth. It was not easy to preserve inscrutabili- 
ty when you did not know what your face looked like. In 
any case, mere control of the features was not enough. For 
the first time he perceived that if you want to keep a secret 
you must also hide it from yourself. You must know all the 
while that it is there, but until it is needed you must never let 
it emerge into your consciousness in any shape that could 
be given a name. From now onwards he must not only think 
right; he must feel right, dream right. And all the while he 
must keep his hatred locked up inside him like a ball of 
matter which was part of himself and yet unconnected with 
the rest of him, a kind of cyst. 

One day they would decide to shoot him. You could not 
tell when it would happen, but a few seconds beforehand 
it should be possible to guess. It was always from behind, 
walking down a corridor. Ten seconds would be enough. In 
that time the world inside him could turn over. And then 
suddenly, without a word uttered, without a check in his 
step, without the changing of a line in his face — suddenly 
the camouflage would be down and bang! would go the bat- 
teries of his hatred. Hatred would fill him like an enormous 
roaring flame. And almost in the same instant bang! would 
go the bullet, too late, or too early. They would have blown 
his brain to pieces before they could reclaim it. The hereti- 
cal thought would be unpunished, unrepented, out of their 
reach for ever. They would have blown a hole in their own 
perfection. To die hating them, that was freedom. 

He shut his eyes. It was more difficult than accepting 


an intellectual discipline. It was a question of degrading 
himself, mutilating himself. He had got to plunge into the 
filthiest of filth. What was the most horrible, sickening thing 
of all? He thought of Big Brother. The enormous face (be- 
cause of constantly seeing it on posters he always thought 
of it as being a metre wide), with its heavy black moustache 
and the eyes that followed you to and fro, seemed to float 
into his mind of its own accord. What were his true feelings 
towards Big Brother? 

There was a heavy tramp of boots in the passage. The 
steel door swung open with a clang. O'Brien walked into 
the cell. Behind him were the waxen-faced officer and the 
black-uniformed guards. 

'Get up,' said O'Brien. 'Come here.' 

Winston stood opposite him. O'Brien took Winston's 
shoulders between his strong hands and looked at him 

'You have had thoughts of deceiving me,' he said. "That 
was stupid. Stand up straighter. Look me in the face.' 

He paused, and went on in a gentler tone: 

'You are improving. Intellectually there is very little 
wrong with you. It is only emotionally that you have failed 
to make progress. Tell me, Winston — and remember, no 
lies: you know that I am always able to detect a lie — tell me, 
what are your true feelings towards Big Brother?' 

T hate him.' 

'You hate him. Good. Then the time has come for you 
to take the last step. You must love Big Brother. It is not 
enough to obey him: you must love him.' 

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He released Winston with a little push towards the 

'Room 101,' he said. 

356 1984 

Chapter 5 

At each stage of his imprisonment he had known, or 
seemed to know, whereabouts he was in the window- 
less building. Possibly there were slight differences in the air 
pressure. The cells where the guards had beaten him were 
below ground level. The room where he had been interro- 
gated by O'Brien was high up near the roof. This place was 
many metres underground, as deep down as it was possible 
to go. 

It was bigger than most of the cells he had been in. But 
he hardly noticed his surroundings. All he noticed was that 
there were two small tables straight in front of him, each 
covered with green baize. One was only a metre or two 
from him, the other was further away, near the door. He 
was strapped upright in a chair, so tightly that he could 
move nothing, not even his head. A sort of pad gripped his 
head from behind, forcing him to look straight in front of 

For a moment he was alone, then the door opened and 
O'Brien came in. 

'You asked me once,' said O'Brien, 'what was in Room 
101. 1 told you that you knew the answer already. Everyone 
knows it. The thing that is in Room 101 is the worst thing 
in the world.' 

The door opened again. A guard came in, carrying some- 

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thing made of wire, a box or basket of some kind. He set 
it down on the further table. Because of the position in 
which O'Brien was standing. Winston could not see what 
the thing was. 

"The worst thing in the world,' said O'Brien, 'varies from 
individual to individual. It may be burial alive, or death by 
fire, or by drowning, or by impalement, or fifty other deaths. 
There are cases where it is some quite trivial thing, not even 

He had moved a little to one side, so that Winston had a 
better view of the thing on the table. It was an oblong wire 
cage with a handle on top for carrying it by. Fixed to the 
front of it was something that looked like a fencing mask, 
with the concave side outwards. Although it was three or 
four metres away from him, he could see that the cage was 
divided lengthways into two compartments, and that there 
was some kind of creature in each. They were rats. 

'In your case,' said O'Brien, 'the worst thing in the world 
happens to be rats.' 

A sort of premonitory tremor, a fear of he was not certain 
what, had passed through Winston as soon as he caught his 
first glimpse of the cage. But at this moment the meaning of 
the mask- like attachment in front of it suddenly sank into 
him. His bowels seemed to turn to water. 

'You can't do that!' he cried out in a high cracked voice. 
'You couldn't, you couldn't! It's impossible.' 

'Do you remember,' said O'Brien, 'the moment of pan- 
ic that used to occur in your dreams? There was a wall of 
blackness in front of you, and a roaring sound in your ears. 

358 1984 

There was something terrible on the other side of the wall. 
You knew that you knew what it was, but you dared not drag 
it into the open. It was the rats that were on the other side 
of the wall' 

'O'Brien!' said Winston, making an effort to control his 
voice. 'You know this is not necessary. What is it that you 
want me to do?' 

O'Brien made no direct answer. When he spoke it was 
in the schoolmasterish manner that he sometimes affected. 
He looked thoughtfully into the distance, as though he were 
addressing an audience somewhere behind Winston's back. 

'By itself,' he said, 'pain is not always enough. There 
are occasions when a human being will stand out against 
pain, even to the point of death. But for everyone there is 
something unendurable — something that cannot be con- 
templated. Courage and cowardice are not involved. If you 
are falling from a height it is not cowardly to clutch at a 
rope. If you have come up from deep water it is not coward- 
ly to fill your lungs with air. It is merely an instinct which 
cannot be destroyed. It is the same with the rats. For you, 
they are unendurable. They are a form of pressure that you 
cannot withstand, even if you wished to. You will do what 
is required of you.' 

'But what is it, what is it? How can I do it if I don't know 
what it is?' 

O'Brien picked up the cage and brought it across to the 
nearer table. He set it down carefully on the baize cloth. 
Winston could hear the blood singing in his ears. He had the 
feeling of sitting in utter loneliness. He was in the middle 359 

of a great empty plain, a flat desert drenched with sunlight, 
across which all sounds came to him out of immense dis- 
tances. Yet the cage with the rats was not two metres away 
from him. They were enormous rats. They were at the age 
when a rat's muzzle grows blunt and fierce and his fur brown 
instead of grey. 

'The rat,' said O'Brien, still addressing his invisible audi- 
ence, 'although a rodent, is carnivorous. You are aware of 
that. You will have heard of the things that happen in the 
poor quarters of this town. In some streets a woman dare 
not leave her baby alone in the house, even for five minutes. 
The rats are certain to attack it. Within quite a small time 
they will strip it to the bones. They also attack sick or dy- 
ing people. They show astonishing intelligence in knowing 
when a human being is helpless.' 

There was an outburst of squeals from the cage. It seemed 
to reach Winston from far away. The rats were fighting; they 
were trying to get at each other through the partition. He 
heard also a deep groan of despair. That, too, seemed to 
come from outside himself. 

O'Brien picked up the cage, and, as he did so, pressed 
something in it. There was a sharp click. Winston made 
a frantic effort to tear himself loose from the chair. It was 
hopeless; every part of him, even his head, was held im- 
movably. O'Brien moved the cage nearer. It was less than a 
metre from Winston's face. 

T have pressed the first lever,' said O'Brien. 'You under- 
stand the construction of this cage. The mask will fit over 
your head, leaving no exit. When I press this other lever, 

360 1984 

the door of the cage will slide up. These starving brutes will 
shoot out of it like bullets. Have you ever seen a rat leap 
through the air? They will leap on to your face and bore 
straight into it. Sometimes they attack the eyes first. Some- 
times they burrow through the cheeks and devour the 

The cage was nearer; it was closing in. Winston heard a 
succession of shrill cries which appeared to be occurring in 
the air above his head. But he fought furiously against his 
panic. To think, to think, even with a split second left — to 
think was the only hope. Suddenly the foul musty odour of 
the brutes struck his nostrils. There was a violent convul- 
sion of nausea inside him, and he almost lost consciousness. 
Everything had gone black. For an instant he was insane, a 
screaming animal. Yet he came out of the blackness clutch- 
ing an idea. There was one and only one way to save himself. 
He must interpose another human being, the BODY of an- 
other human being, between himself and the rats. 

The circle of the mask was large enough now to shut out 
the vision of anything else. The wire door was a couple of 
hand-spans from his face. The rats knew what was coming 
now. One of them was leaping up and down, the other, an 
old scaly grandfather of the sewers, stood up, with his pink 
hands against the bars, and fiercely sniffed the air. Winston 
could see the whiskers and the yellow teeth. Again the black 
panic took hold of him. He was blind, helpless, mindless. 

'It was a common punishment in Imperial China,' said 
O'Brien as didactically as ever. 

The mask was closing on his face. The wire brushed his 361 

cheek. And then — no, it was not relief, only hope, a tiny 
fragment of hope. Too late, perhaps too late. But he had 
suddenly understood that in the whole world there was just 
ONE person to whom he could transfer his punishment — 
ONE body that he could thrust between himself and the 
rats. And he was shouting frantically, over and over. 

'Do it to Julia! Do it to Julia! Not me! Julia! I don't care 
what you do to her. Tear her face off, strip her to the bones. 
Not me! Julia! Not me!' 

He was falling backwards, into enormous depths, away 
from the rats. He was still strapped in the chair, but he had 
fallen through the floor, through the walls of the build- 
ing, through the earth, through the oceans, through the 
atmosphere, into outer space, into the gulfs between the 
stars — always away, away, away from the rats. He was light 
years distant, but O'Brien was still standing at his side. 
There was still the cold touch of wire against his cheek. But 
through the darkness that enveloped him he heard another 
metallic click, and knew that the cage door had clicked shut 
and not open. 

362 1984 

Chapter 6 

The Chestnut Tree was almost empty. A ray of sunlight 
slanting through a window fell on dusty table-tops. It 
was the lonely hour of fifteen. A tinny music trickled from 
the telescreens. 

Winston sat in his usual corner, gazing into an empty 
glass. Now and again he glanced up at a vast face which eyed 
him from the opposite wall. BIG BROTHER IS WATCH- 
ING YOU, the caption said. Unbidden, a waiter came and 
filled his glass up with Victory Gin, shaking into it a few 
drops from another bottle with a quill through the cork. It 
was saccharine flavoured with cloves, the speciality of the 

Winston was listening to the telescreen. At present only 
music was coming out of it, but there was a possibility that 
at any moment there might be a special bulletin from the 
Ministry of Peace. The news from the African front was dis- 
quieting in the extreme. On and off he had been worrying 
about it all day. A Eurasian army (Oceania was at war with 
Eurasia: Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia) was 
moving southward at terrifying speed. The mid-day bulle- 
tin had not mentioned any definite area, but it was probable 
that already the mouth of the Congo was a battlefield. Braz- 
zaville and Leopoldville were in danger. One did not have 
to look at the map to see what it meant. It was not merely 363 

a question of losing Central Africa: for the first time in the 
whole war, the territory of Oceania itself was menaced. 

A violent emotion, not fear exactly but a sort of undif- 
ferentiated excitement, flared up in him, then faded again. 
He stopped thinking about the war. In these days he could 
never fix his mind on any one subject for more than a few 
moments at a time. He picked up his glass and drained it 
at a gulp. As always, the gin made him shudder and even 
retch slightly. The stuff was horrible. The cloves and sac- 
charine, themselves disgusting enough in their sickly way, 
could not disguise the flat oily smell; and what was worst 
of all was that the smell of gin, which dwelt with him night 
and day, was inextricably mixed up in his mind with the 
smell of those 

He never named them, even in his thoughts, and so 
far as it was possible he never visualized them. They were 
something that he was half-aware of, hovering close to his 
face, a smell that clung to his nostrils. As the gin rose in 
him he belched through purple lips. He had grown fatter 
since they released him, and had regained his old colour — 
indeed, more than regained it. His features had thickened, 
the skin on nose and cheekbones was coarsely red, even 
the bald scalp was too deep a pink. A waiter, again unbid- 
den, brought the chessboard and the current issue of 'The 
Times', with the page turned down at the chess problem. 
Then, seeing that Winston's glass was empty, he brought the 
gin bottle and filled it. There was no need to give orders. 
They knew his habits. The chessboard was always waiting 
for him, his corner table was always reserved; even when 

364 1984 

the place was full he had it to himself, since nobody cared 
to be seen sitting too close to him. He never even bothered 
to count his drinks. At irregular intervals they presented 
him with a dirty slip of paper which they said was the bill, 
but he had the impression that they always undercharged 
him. It would have made no difference if it had been the 
other way about. He had always plenty of money nowadays. 
He even had a job, a sinecure, more highly-paid than his old 
job had been. 

The music from the telescreen stopped and a voice took 
over. Winston raised his head to listen. No bulletins from 
the front, however. It was merely a brief announcement 
from the Ministry of Plenty. In the preceding quarter, it ap- 
peared, the Tenth Three-Year Plan's quota for bootlaces had 
been overfulfilled by 98 per cent. 

He examined the chess problem and set out the pieces. It 
was a tricky ending, involving a couple of knights. 'White to 
play and mate in two moves.' Winston looked up at the por- 
trait of Big Brother. White always mates, he thought with a 
sort of cloudy mysticism. Always, without exception, it is so 
arranged. In no chess problem since the beginning of the 
world has black ever won. Did it not symbolize the eternal, 
unvarying triumph of Good over Evil? The huge face gazed 
back at him, full of calm power. White always mates. 

The voice from the telescreen paused and added in a dif- 
ferent and much graver tone: 'You are warned to stand by 
for an important announcement at fifteen-thirty Fifteen- 
thirty! This is news of the highest importance. Take care 
not to miss it. Fifteen-thirty!' The tinkling music struck up 365 


Winston's heart stirred. That was the bulletin from the 
front; instinct told him that it was bad news that was com- 
ing. All day, with little spurts of excitement, the thought 
of a smashing defeat in Africa had been in and out of his 
mind. He seemed actually to see the Eurasian army swarm- 
ing across the never-broken frontier and pouring down 
into the tip of Africa like a column of ants. Why had it not 
been possible to outflank them in some way? The outline of 
the West African coast stood out vividly in his mind. He 
picked up the white knight and moved it across the board. 
THERE was the proper spot. Even while he saw the black 
horde racing southward he saw another force, mysteriously 
assembled, suddenly planted in their rear, cutting their co- 
munications by land and sea. He felt that by willing it he 
was bringing that other force into existence. But it was nec- 
essary to act quickly. If they could get control of the whole 
of Africa, if they had airfields and submarine bases at the 
Cape, it would cut Oceania in two. It might mean anything: 
defeat, breakdown, the redivision of the world, the destruc- 
tion of the Party! He drew a deep breath. An extraordinary 
medley of feeling — but it was not a medley, exactly; rather it 
was successive layers of feeling, in which one could not say 
which layer was undermost — struggled inside him. 

The spasm passed. He put the white knight back in its 
place, but for the moment he could not settle down to se- 
rious study of the chess problem. His thoughts wandered 
again. Almost unconsciously he traced with his finger in 
the dust on the table: 

366 1984 


"They can't get inside you,' she had said. But they could 
get inside you. 'What happens to you here is FOR EVER,' 
O'Brien had said. That was a true word. There were things, 
your own acts, from which you could never recover. Some- 
thing was killed in your breast: burnt out, cauterized out. 

He had seen her; he had even spoken to her. There was 
no danger in it. He knew as though instinctively that they 
now took almost no interest in his doings. He could have 
arranged to meet her a second time if either of them had 
wanted to. Actually it was by chance that they had met. It 
was in the Park, on a vile, biting day in March, when the 
earth was like iron and all the grass seemed dead and there 
was not a bud anywhere except a few crocuses which had 
pushed themselves up to be dismembered by the wind. He 
was hurrying along with frozen hands and watering eyes 
when he saw her not ten metres away from him. It struck 
him at once that she had changed in some ill-defined way. 
They almost passed one another without a sign, then he 
turned and followed her, not very eagerly. He knew that 
there was no danger, nobody would take any interest in him. 
She did not speak. She walked obliquely away across the 
grass as though trying to get rid of him, then seemed to re- 
sign herself to having him at her side. Presently they were in 
among a clump of ragged leafless shrubs, useless either for 
concealment or as protection from the wind. They halted. 
It was vilely cold. The wind whistled through the twigs and 
fretted the occasional, dirty-looking crocuses. He put his 367 

arm round her waist. 

There was no telescreen, but there must be hidden 
microphones: besides, they could be seen. It did not mat- 
ter, nothing mattered. They could have lain down on the 
ground and done THAT if they had wanted to. His flesh 
froze with horror at the thought of it. She made no response 
whatever to the clasp of his arm; she did not even try to dis- 
engage herself. He knew now what had changed in her. Her 
face was sallower, and there was a long scar, partly hidden 
by the hair, across her forehead and temple; but that was not 
the change. It was that her waist had grown thicker, and, in 
a surprising way, had stiffened. He remembered how once, 
after the explosion of a rocket bomb, he had helped to drag 
a corpse out of some ruins, and had been astonished not 
only by the incredible weight of the thing, but by its rigidity 
and awkwardness to handle, which made it seem more like 
stone than flesh. Her body felt like that. It occurred to him 
that the texture of her skin would be quite different from 
what it had once been. 

He did not attempt to kiss her, nor did they speak. As they 
walked back across the grass, she looked directly at him for 
the first time. It was only a momentary glance, full of con- 
tempt and dislike. He wondered whether it was a dislike that 
came purely out of the past or whether it was inspired also 
by his bloated face and the water that the wind kept squeez- 
ing from his eyes. They sat down on two iron chairs, side by 
side but not too close together. He saw that she was about 
to speak. She moved her clumsy shoe a few centimetres and 
deliberately crushed a twig. Her feet seemed to have grown 

368 1984 

broader, he noticed. 

'I betrayed you,' she said baldly. 

'I betrayed you,' he said. 

She gave him another quick look of dislike. 

'Sometimes,' she said, 'they threaten you with something 
something you can't stand up to, can't even think about. 
And then you say, 'Don't do it to me, do it to somebody 
else, do it to so-and-so.' And perhaps you might pretend, 
afterwards, that it was only a trick and that you just said it 
to make them stop and didn't really mean it. But that isn't 
true. At the time when it happens you do mean it. You think 
there's no other way of saving yourself, and you're quite 
ready to save yourself that way. You WANT it to happen to 
the other person. You don't give a damn what they suffer. 
All you care about is yourself 

All you care about is yourself,' he echoed. 

And after that, you don't feel the same towards the other 
person any longer.' 

'No,' he said, 'you don't feel the same.' 

There did not seem to be anything more to say. The wind 
plastered their thin overalls against their bodies. Almost at 
once it became embarrassing to sit there in silence: besides, 
it was too cold to keep still. She said something about catch- 
ing her Tube and stood up to go. 

'We must meet again,' he said. 

'Yes,' she said, 'we must meet again.' 

He followed irresolutely for a little distance, half a pace 
behind her. They did not speak again. She did not actually 
try to shake him off, but walked at just such a speed as to 369 

prevent his keeping abreast of her. He had made up his mind 
that he would accompany her as far as the Tube station, but 
suddenly this process of trailing along in the cold seemed 
pointless and unbearable. He was overwhelmed by a desire 
not so much to get away from Julia as to get back to the 
Chestnut Tree Cafe, which had never seemed so attractive 
as at this moment. He had a nostalgic vision of his corner 
table, with the newspaper and the chessboard and the ever- 
flowing gin. Above all, it would be warm in there. The next 
moment, not altogether by accident, he allowed himself to 
become separated from her by a small knot of people. He 
made a halfhearted attempt to catch up, then slowed down, 
turned, and made off in the opposite direction. When he 
had gone fifty metres he looked back. The street was not 
crowded, but already he could not distinguish her. Any one 
of a dozen hurrying figures might have been hers. Perhaps 
her thickened, stiffened body was no longer recognizable 
from behind. 

At the time when it happens,' she had said, 'you do mean 
it.' He had meant it. He had not merely said it, he had wished 
it. He had wished that she and not he should be delivered 
over to the 

Something changed in the music that trickled from the 
telescreen. A cracked and jeering note, a yellow note, came 
into it. And then — perhaps it was not happening, perhaps 
it was only a memory taking on the semblance of sound — a 
voice was singing: 

'Under the spreading chestnut tree 

370 1984 

/ sold you and you sold me ' 

The tears welled up in his eyes. A passing waiter noticed 
that his glass was empty and came back with the gin bottle. 

He took up his glass and sniffed at it. The stuff grew 
not less but more horrible with every mouthful he drank. 
But it had become the element he swam in. It was his life, 
his death, and his resurrection. It was gin that sank him 
into stupor every night, and gin that revived him every 
morning. When he woke, seldom before eleven hundred, 
with gummed-up eyelids and fiery mouth and a back that 
seemed to be broken, it would have been impossible even 
to rise from the horizontal if it had not been for the bottle 
and teacup placed beside the bed overnight. Through the 
midday hours he sat with glazed face, the bottle handy, lis- 
tening to the telescreen. From fifteen to closing-time he 
was a fixture in the Chestnut Tree. No one cared what he 
did any longer, no whistle woke him, no telescreen admon- 
ished him. Occasionally, perhaps twice a week, he went to a 
dusty, forgotten-looking office in the Ministry of Truth and 
did a little work, or what was called work. He had been ap- 
pointed to a sub-committee of a sub-committee which had 
sprouted from one of the innumerable committees dealing 
with minor difficulties that arose in the compilation of the 
Eleventh Edition of the Newspeak Dictionary. They were 
engaged in producing something called an Interim Report, 
but what it was that they were reporting on he had never 
definitely found out. It was something to do with the ques- 
tion of whether commas should be placed inside brackets, 371 

or outside. There were four others on the committee, all of 
them persons similar to himself. There were days when they 
assembled and then promptly dispersed again, frankly ad- 
mitting to one another that there was not really anything to 
be done. But there were other days when they settled down 
to their work almost eagerly, making a tremendous show 
of entering up their minutes and drafting long memoranda 
which were never finished — when the argument as to what 
they were supposedly arguing about grew extraordinarily 
involved and abstruse, with subtle haggling over definitions, 
enormous digressions, quarrels — threats, even, to appeal to 
higher authority. And then suddenly the life would go out 
of them and they would sit round the table looking at one 
another with extinct eyes, like ghosts fading at cock-crow. 

The telescreen was silent for a moment. Winston raised 
his head again. The bulletin! But no, they were merely 
changing the music. He had the map of Africa behind his 
eyelids. The movement of the armies was a diagram: a black 
arrow tearing vertically southward, and a white arrow hori- 
zontally eastward, across the tail of the first. As though for 
reassurance he looked up at the imperturbable face in the 
portrait. Was it conceivable that the second arrow did not 
even exist? 

His interest flagged again. He drank another mouthful of 
gin, picked up the white knight and made a tentative move. 
Check. But it was evidently not the right move, because 

Uncalled, a memory floated into his mind. He saw a 
candle-lit room with a vast white- counterpaned bed, and 
himself, a boy of nine or ten, sitting on the floor, shaking 


a dice-box, and laughing excitedly. His mother was sitting 
opposite him and also laughing. 

It must have been about a month before she disappeared. 
It was a moment of reconciliation, when the nagging hun- 
ger in his belly was forgotten and his earlier affection for 
her had temporarily revived. He remembered the day well, 
a pelting, drenching day when the water streamed down 
the window-pane and the light indoors was too dull to read 
by. The boredom of the two children in the dark, cramped 
bedroom became unbearable. Winston whined and griz- 
zled, made futile demands for food, fretted about the room 
pulling everything out of place and kicking the wainscot- 
ing until the neighbours banged on the wall, while the 
younger child wailed intermittently. In the end his mother 
said, 'Now be good, and I'll buy you a toy. A lovely toy — 
you'll love it'; and then she had gone out in the rain, to a 
little general shop which was still sporadically open nearby, 
and came back with a cardboard box containing an outfit 
of Snakes and Ladders. He could still remember the smell 
of the damp cardboard. It was a miserable outfit. The board 
was cracked and the tiny wooden dice were so ill- cut that 
they would hardly lie on their sides. Winston looked at the 
thing sulkily and without interest. But then his mother lit a 
piece of candle and they sat down on the floor to play. Soon 
he was wildly excited and shouting with laughter as the tid- 
dly-winks climbed hopefully up the ladders and then came 
slithering down the snakes again, almost to the starting- 
point. They played eight games, winning four each. His tiny 
sister, too young to understand what the game was about, 

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had sat propped up against a bolster, laughing because the 
others were laughing. For a whole afternoon they had all 
been happy together, as in his earlier childhood. 

He pushed the picture out of his mind. It was a false 
memory. He was troubled by false memories occasionally. 
They did not matter so long as one knew them for what they 
were. Some things had happened, others had not happened. 
He turned back to the chessboard and picked up the white 
knight again. Almost in the same instant it dropped on to 
the board with a clatter. He had started as though a pin had 
run into him. 

A shrill trumpet-call had pierced the air. It was the bul- 
letin! Victory! It always meant victory when a trumpet-call 
preceded the news. A sort of electric drill ran through the 
cafe. Even the waiters had started and pricked up their 

The trumpet-call had let loose an enormous volume of 
noise. Already an excited voice was gabbling from the tele- 
screen, but even as it started it was almost drowned by a 
roar of cheering from outside. The news had run round the 
streets like magic. He could hear just enough of what was 
issuing from the telescreen to realize that it had all hap- 
pened, as he had foreseen; a vast seaborne armada had 
secretly assembled a sudden blow in the enemy's rear, the 
white arrow tearing across the tail of the black. Fragments 
of triumphant phrases pushed themselves through the din: 
'Vast strategic manoeuvre — perfect co-ordination — utter 
rout — half a million prisoners — complete demoraliza- 
tion — control of the whole of Africa — bring the war within 


measurable distance of its end — victory — greatest victory 
in human history — victory, victory, victory!' 

Under the table Winston's feet made convulsive move- 
ments. He had not stirred from his seat, but in his mind 
he was running, swiftly running, he was with the crowds 
outside, cheering himself deaf. He looked up again at the 
portrait of Big Brother. The colossus that bestrode the 
world! The rock against which the hordes of Asia dashed 
themselves in vain! He thought how ten minutes ago — yes, 
only ten minutes — there had still been equivocation in 
his heart as he wondered whether the news from the front 
would be of victory or defeat. Ah, it was more than a Eur- 
asian army that had perished! Much had changed in him 
since that first day in the Ministry of Love, but the final, in- 
dispensable, healing change had never happened, until this 

The voice from the telescreen was still pouring forth its 
tale of prisoners and booty and slaughter, but the shouting 
outside had died down a little. The waiters were turning 
back to their work. One of them approached with the gin 
bottle. Winston, sitting in a blissful dream, paid no at- 
tention as his glass was filled up. He was not running or 
cheering any longer. He was back in the Ministry of Love, 
with everything forgiven, his soul white as snow. He was in 
the public dock, confessing everything, implicating every- 
body. He was walking down the white-tiled corridor, with 
the feeling of walking in sunlight, and an armed guard at 
his back. The long-hoped-for bullet was entering his brain. 

He gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had tak- 

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en him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath the 
dark moustache. cruel, needless misunderstanding! O 
stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin- 
scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was 
all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. 
He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother. 



The Principles of Newspeak 

Newspeak was the official language of Oceania and 
had been devised to meet the ideological needs of Ingsoc, 
or English Socialism. In the year 1984 there was not as yet 
anyone who used Newspeak as his sole means of commu- 
nication, either in speech or writing. The leading articles 
in 'The Times' were written in it, but this was a TOUR DE 
FORCE which could only be carried out by a specialist. It 
was expected that Newspeak would have finally supersed- 
ed Oldspeak (or Standard English, as we should call it) by 
about the year 2050. Meanwhile it gained ground steadi- 
ly, all Party members tending to use Newspeak words and 
grammatical constructions more and more in their every- 
day speech. The version in use in 1984, and embodied in the 
Ninth and Tenth Editions of the Newspeak Dictionary, was 
a provisional one, and contained many superfluous words 
and archaic formations which were due to be suppressed 
later. It is with the final, perfected version, as embodied in 
the Eleventh Edition of the Dictionary, that we are con- 
cerned here. 

The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a 

376 1984 

medium of expression for the world-view and mental hab- 
its proper to the devotees of Ingsoc, but to make all other 
modes of thought impossible. It was intended that when 
Newspeak had been adopted once and for all and Oldspeak 
forgotten, a heretical thought — that is, a thought diverging 
from the principles of Ingsoc — should be literally unthink- 
able, at least so far as thought is dependent on words. Its 
vocabulary was so constructed as to give exact and of- 
ten very subtle expression to every meaning that a Party 
member could properly wish to express, while excluding 
all other meanings and also the possibility of arriving at 
them by indirect methods. This was done partly by the 
invention of new words, but chiefly by eliminating unde- 
sirable words and by stripping such words as remained of 
unorthodox meanings, and so far as possible of all second- 
ary meanings whatever. To give a single example. The word 
FREE still existed in Newspeak, but it could only be used in 
such statements as 'This dog is free from lice' or "This field 
is free from weeds'. It could not be used in its old sense of 
'politically free' or 'intellectually free' since political and in- 
tellectual freedom no longer existed even as concepts, and 
were therefore of necessity nameless. Quite apart from the 
suppression of definitely heretical words, reduction of vo- 
cabulary was regarded as an end in itself, and no word that 
could be dispensed with was allowed to survive. Newspeak 
was designed not to extend but to DIMINISH the range of 
thought, and this purpose was indirectly assisted by cutting 
the choice of words down to a minimum. 

Newspeak was founded on the English language as we 

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now know it, though many Newspeak sentences, even when 
not containing newly- created words, would be barely intel- 
ligible to an English-speaker of our own day Newspeak 
words were divided into three distinct classes, known as 
the A vocabulary, the B vocabulary (also called compound 
words), and the C vocabulary. It will be simpler to discuss 
each class separately, but the grammatical peculiarities of 
the language can be dealt with in the section devoted to the 
A vocabulary, since the same rules held good for all three 

THE A VOCABULARY. The A vocabulary consisted 
of the words needed for the business of everyday life — for 
such things as eating, drinking, working, putting on one's 
clothes, going up and down stairs, riding in vehicles, garden- 
ing, cooking, and the like. It was composed almost entirely 
of words that we already possess words like HIT, RUN, 
DOG, TREE, SUGAR, HOUSE, FIELD— but in compari- 
son with the present-day English vocabulary their number 
was extremely small, while their meanings were far more 
rigidly defined. All ambiguities and shades of meaning had 
been purged out of them. So far as it could be achieved, a 
Newspeak word of this class was simply a staccato sound 
expressing ONE clearly understood concept. It would have 
been quite impossible to use the A vocabulary for literary 
purposes or for political or philosophical discussion. It was 
intended only to express simple, purposive thoughts, usu- 
ally involving concrete objects or physical actions. 

The grammar of Newspeak had two outstanding pe- 
culiarities. The first of these was an almost complete 

378 1984 

interchangeability between different parts of speech. Any 
word in the language (in principle this applied even to very 
abstract words such as IF or WHEN) could be used either 
as verb, noun, adjective, or adverb. Between the verb and 
the noun form, when they were of the same root, there was 
never any variation, this rule of itself involving the de- 
struction of many archaic forms. The word THOUGHT, 
for example, did not exist in Newspeak. Its place was tak- 
en by THINK, which did duty for both noun and verb. No 
etymological principle was followed here: in some cases it 
was the original noun that was chosen for retention, in oth- 
er cases the verb. Even where a noun and verb of kindred 
meaning were not etymologically connected, one or other 
of them was frequently suppressed. There was, for example, 
no such word as CUT, its meaning being sufficiently cov- 
ered by the noun-verb KNIFE. Adjectives were formed by 
adding the suffix -FUL to the noun-verb, and adverbs by 
adding -WISE. Thus for example, SPEEDFUL meant 'rapid' 
and SPEEDWISE meant 'quickly. Certain of our present- 
day adjectives, such as GOOD, STRONG, BIG, BLACK, 
SOFT, were retained, but their total number was very small. 
There was little need for them, since almost any adjectival 
meaning could be arrived at by adding -FUL to a noun-verb. 
None of the now- existing adverbs was retained, except for a 
very few already ending in -WISE: the -WISE termination 
was invariable. The word WELL, for example, was replaced 

In addition, any word — this again applied in principle 
to every word in the language — could be negatived by add- 

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ing the affix UN-, or could be strengthened by the affix 
PLUS-, or, for still greater emphasis, DOUBLEPLUS-. Thus, 
for example, UNCOLD meant 'warm', while PLUSCOLD 
and DOUBLEPLUSCOLD meant, respectively, 'very cold' 
and 'superlatively cold'. It was also possible, as in present- 
day English, to modify the meaning of almost any word by 
prepositional affixes such as ANTE-, POST-, UP-, DOWN-, 
etc. By such methods it was found possible to bring about 
an enormous diminution of vocabulary. Given, for instance, 
the word GOOD, there was no need for such a word as BAD, 
since the required meaning was equally well — indeed, bet- 
ter — expressed by UNGOOD. All that was necessary, in 
any case where two words formed a natural pair of oppo- 
sites, was to decide which of them to suppress. DARK, for 
example, could be replaced by UNLIGHT, or LIGHT by 
UNDARK, according to preference. 

The second distinguishing mark of Newspeak gram- 
mar was its regularity. Subject to a few exceptions which 
are mentioned below all inflexions followed the same rules. 
Thus, in all verbs the preterite and the past participle were 
the same and ended in -ED. The preterite of STEAL was 
STEALED, the preterite of THINK was THINKED, and 
so on throughout the language, all such forms as SWAM, 
GAVE, BROUGHT, SPOKE, TAKEN, etc., being abolished. 
All plurals were made by adding -S or -ES as the case might 
be. The plurals OF MAN, OX, LIFE, were MANS, OXES, 
LIFES. Comparison of adjectives was invariably made by 
adding -ER, -EST (GOOD, GOODER, GOODEST), ir- 
regular forms and the MORE, MOST formation being 

380 1984 


The only classes of words that were still allowed to inflect 
irregularly were the pronouns, the relatives, the demonstra- 
tive adjectives, and the auxiliary verbs. All of these followed 
their ancient usage, except that WHOM had been scrapped 
as unnecessary, and the SHALL, SHOULD tenses had been 
dropped, all their uses being covered by WILL and WOULD. 
There were also certain irregularities in word-formation 
arising out of the need for rapid and easy speech. A word 
which was difficult to utter, or was liable to be incorrectly 
heard, was held to be ipso facto a bad word; occasionally 
therefore, for the sake of euphony, extra letters were insert- 
ed into a word or an archaic formation was retained. But 
this need made itself felt chiefly in connexion with the B 
vocabulary. WHY so great an importance was attached to 
ease of pronunciation will be made clear later in this essay. 

THE B VOCABULARY. The B vocabulary consisted of 
words which had been deliberately constructed for political 
purposes: words, that is to say, which not only had in every 
case a political implication, but were intended to impose 
a desirable mental attitude upon the person using them. 
Without a full understanding of the principles of Ingsoc 
it was difficult to use these words correctly. In some cases 
they could be translated into Oldspeak, or even into words 
taken from the A vocabulary, but this usually demanded 
a long paraphrase and always involved the loss of certain 
overtones. The B words were a sort of verbal shorthand, of- 
ten packing whole ranges of ideas into a few syllables, and 
at the same time more accurate and forcible than ordinary 381 


The B words were in all cases compound words. [Com- 
pound words such as SPEAKWRITE, were of course to be 
found in the A vocabulary, but these were merely convenient 
abbreviations and had no special ideologcal colour.] They 
consisted of two or more words, or portions of words, weld- 
ed together in an easily pronounceable form. The resulting 
amalgam was always a noun-verb, and inflected according 
to the ordinary rules. To take a single example: the word 
GOODTHINK, meaning, very roughly, 'orthodoxy, or, if 
one chose to regard it as a verb, 'to think in an orthodox 
manner'. This inflected as follows: noun-verb, GOOD- 
THINK; past tense and past participle, GOODTHINKED; 
present participle, GOOD-THINKING; adjective, GOOD- 
THINKFUL; adverb, GOODTHINKWISE; verbal noun, 

The B words were not constructed on any etymological 
plan. The words of which they were made up could be any 
parts of speech, and could be placed in any order and muti- 
lated in any way which made them easy to pronounce while 
indicating their derivation. In the word CRIMETHINK 
(thought crime), for instance, the THINK came second, 
whereas in THINKPOL (Thought Police) it came first, 
and in the latter word POLICE had lost its second syllable. 
Because of the great difficulty in securing euphony, irregu- 
lar formations were commoner in the B vocabulary than 
in the A vocabulary. For example, the adjective forms of 
MINITRUE, MINIPAX, and MINILUV were, respectively, 

382 1984 

simply because -TRUEFUL, -PAXFUL, and -LOVEFUL 
were slightly awkward to pronounce. In principle, however, 
all B words could inflect, and all inflected in exactly the 
same way. 

Some of the B words had highly subtilized meanings, 
barely intelligible to anyone who had not mastered the 
language as a whole. Consider, for example, such a typical 
sentence from a 'Times' leading article as OLDTHINKERS 
UNBELLYFEEL INGSOC. The shortest rendering that one 
could make of this in Oldspeak would be: 'Those whose 
ideas were formed before the Revolution cannot have a full 
emotional understanding of the principles of English So- 
cialism.' But this is not an adequate translation. To begin 
with, in order to grasp the full meaning of the Newspeak 
sentence quoted above, one would have to have a clear idea 
of what is meant by INGSOC. And in addition, only a per- 
son thoroughly grounded in Ingsoc could appreciate the 
full force of the word BELLYFEEL, which implied a blind, 
enthusiastic acceptance difficult to imagine today; or of the 
word OLDTHINK, which was inextricably mixed up with 
the idea of wickedness and decadence. But the special func- 
tion of certain Newspeak words, of which OLDTHINK 
was one, was not so much to express meanings as to de- 
stroy them. These words, necessarily few in number, had 
had their meanings extended until they contained within 
themselves whole batteries of words which, as they were 
sufficiently covered by a single comprehensive term, could 
now be scrapped and forgotten. The greatest difficulty fac- 
ing the compilers of the Newspeak Dictionary was not to 383 

invent new words, but, having invented them, to make sure 
what they meant: to make sure, that is to say, what ranges of 
words they cancelled by their existence. 

As we have already seen in the case of the word FREE, 
words which had once borne a heretical meaning were 
sometimes retained for the sake of convenience, but only 
with the undesirable meanings purged out of them. Count- 
less other words such as HONOUR, JUSTICE, MORALITY, 
RELIGION had simply ceased to exist. A few blanket words 
covered them, and, in covering them, abolished them. All 
words grouping themselves round the concepts of liber- 
ty and equality, for instance, were contained in the single 
word CRIMETHINK, while all words grouping themselves 
round the concepts of objectivity and rationalism were 
contained in the single word OLDTHINK. Greater preci- 
sion would have been dangerous. What was required in a 
Party member was an outlook similar to that of the ancient 
Hebrew who knew, without knowing much else, that all na- 
tions other than his own worshipped 'false gods'. He did 
not need to know that these gods were called Baal, Osiris, 
Moloch, Ashtaroth, and the like: probably the less he knew 
about them the better for his orthodoxy. He knew Jehovah 
and the commandments of Jehovah: he knew, therefore, 
that all gods with other names or other attributes were false 
gods. In somewhat the same way, the party member knew 
what constituted right conduct, and in exceedingly vague, 
generalized terms he knew what kinds of departure from 
it were possible. His sexual life, for example, was entirely 

384 1984 

regulated by the two Newspeak words SEXCRIME (sex- 
ual immorality) and GOODSEX (chastity). SEXCRIME 
covered all sexual misdeeds whatever. It covered fornica- 
tion, adultery, homosexuality, and other perversions, and, 
in addition, normal intercourse practised for its own sake. 
There was no need to enumerate them separately, since they 
were all equally culpable, and, in principle, all punishable 
by death. In the C vocabulary, which consisted of scientific 
and technical words, it might be necessary to give special- 
ized names to certain sexual aberrations, but the ordinary 
citizen had no need of them. He knew what was meant by 
GOODSEX — that is to say, normal intercourse between 
man and wife, for the sole purpose of begetting children, 
and without physical pleasure on the part of the woman: all 
else was SEXCRIME. In Newspeak it was seldom possible to 
follow a heretical thought further than the perception that 
it WAS heretical: beyond that point the necessary words 
were nonexistent. 

No word in the B vocabulary was ideologically neutral. 
A great many were euphemisms. Such words, for instance, 
as JOYCAMP (forced-labour camp) or MINIPAX Minis- 
try of Peace, i.e. Ministry of War) meant almost the exact 
opposite of what they appeared to mean. Some words, on 
the other hand, displayed a frank and contemptuous un- 
derstanding of the real nature of Oceanic society. An 
example was PROLEFEED, meaning the rubbishy enter- 
tainment and spurious news which the Party handed out 
to the masses. Other words, again, were ambivalent, hav- 
ing the connotation 'good' when applied to the Party and 385 

'bad' when applied to its enemies. But in addition there were 
great numbers of words which at first sight appeared to be 
mere abbreviations and which derived their ideological co- 
lour not from their meaning, but from their structure. 

So far as it could be contrived, everything that had or 
might have political significance of any kind was fitted into 
the B vocabulary. The name of every organization, or body 
of people, or doctrine, or country, or institution, or public 
building, was invariably cut down into the familiar shape; 
that is, a single easily pronounced word with the smallest 
number of syllables that would preserve the original deri- 
vation. In the Ministry of Truth, for example, the Records 
Department, in which Winston Smith worked, was called 
RECDEP, the Fiction Department was called FICDEP, the 
Teleprogrammes Department was called TELEDEP, and so 
on. This was not done solely with the object of saving time. 
Even in the early decades of the twentieth century, tele- 
scoped words and phrases had been one of the characteristic 
features of political language; and it had been noticed that 
the tendency to use abbreviations of this kind was most 
marked in totalitarian countries and totalitarian organi- 
zations. Examples were such words as NAZI, GESTAPO, 
ning the practice had been adopted as it were instinctively, 
but in Newspeak it was used with a conscious purpose. It 
was perceived that in thus abbreviating a name one nar- 
rowed and subtly altered its meaning, by cutting out most of 
the associations that would otherwise cling to it. The words 
COMMUNIST INTERNATIONAL, for instance, call up 

386 1984 

a composite picture of universal human brotherhood, red 
flags, barricades, Karl Marx, and the Paris Commune. The 
word COMINTERN, on the other hand, suggests merely a 
tightly-knit organization and a well-defined body of doc- 
trine. It refers to something almost as easily recognized, 
and as limited in purpose, as a chair or a table. COMIN- 
TERN is a word that can be uttered almost without taking 
thought, whereas COMMUNIST INTERNATIONAL is 
a phrase over which one is obliged to linger at least mo- 
mentarily. In the same way, the associations called up by a 
word like MINITRUE are fewer and more controllable than 
those called up by MINISTRY OF TRUTH. This accounted 
not only for the habit of abbreviating whenever possible, but 
also for the almost exaggerated care that was taken to make 
every word easily pronounceable. 

In Newspeak, euphony outweighed every consideration 
other than exactitude of meaning. Regularity of grammar 
was always sacrificed to it when it seemed necessary. And 
rightly so, since what was required, above all for political 
purposes, was short clipped words of unmistakable mean- 
ing which could be uttered rapidly and which roused the 
minimum of echoes in the speaker's mind. The words of the 
B vocabulary even gained in force from the fact that nearly 
all of them were very much alike. Almost invariably these 
and countless others — were words of two or three syllables, 
with the stress distributed equally between the first syllable 
and the last. The use of them encouraged a gabbling style of 387 

speech, at once staccato and monotonous. And this was ex- 
actly what was aimed at. The intention was to make speech, 
and especially speech on any subject not ideologically neu- 
tral, as nearly as possible independent of consciousness. For 
the purposes of everyday life it was no doubt necessary, or 
sometimes necessary, to reflect before speaking, but a Party 
member called upon to make a political or ethical judge- 
ment should be able to spray forth the correct opinions as 
automatically as a machine gun spraying forth bullets. His 
training fitted him to do this, the language gave him an al- 
most foolproof instrument, and the texture of the words, 
with their harsh sound and a certain wilful ugliness which 
was in accord with the spirit of Ingsoc, assisted the process 
still further. 

So did the fact of having very few words to choose from. 
Relative to our own, the Newspeak vocabulary was tiny, 
and new ways of reducing it were constantly being devised. 
Newspeak, indeed, differed from most all other languages 
in that its vocabulary grew smaller instead of larger every 
year. Each reduction was a gain, since the smaller the area 
of choice, the smaller the temptation to take thought. Ulti- 
mately it was hoped to make articulate speech issue from 
the larynx without involving the higher brain centres at 
all. This aim was frankly admitted in the Newspeak word 
DUCKSPEAK, meaning 'to quack like a duck'. Like various 
other words in the B vocabulary, DUCKSPEAK was ambiv- 
alent in meaning. Provided that the opinions which were 
quacked out were orthodox ones, it implied nothing but 
praise, and when 'The Times' referred to one of the orators 


was paying a warm and valued compliment. 

THE C VOCABULARY. The C vocabulary was supple- 
mentary to the others and consisted entirely of scientific 
and technical terms. These resembled the scientific terms 
in use today, and were constructed from the same roots, but 
the usual care was taken to define them rigidly and strip 
them of undesirable meanings. They followed the same 
grammatical rules as the words in the other two vocabu- 
laries. Very few of the C words had any currency either in 
everyday speech or in political speech. Any scientific work- 
er or technician could find all the words he needed in the 
list devoted to his own speciality, but he seldom had more 
than a smattering of the words occurring in the other lists. 
Only a very few words were common to all lists, and there 
was no vocabulary expressing the function of Science as a 
habit of mind, or a method of thought, irrespective of its 
particular branches. There was, indeed, no word for 'Sci- 
ence', any meaning that it could possibly bear being already 
sufficiently covered by the word INGSOC. 

From the foregoing account it will be seen that in New- 
speak the expression of unorthodox opinions, above a very 
low level, was well-nigh impossible. It was of course pos- 
sible to utter heresies of a very crude kind, a species of 
blasphemy. It would have been possible, for example, to say 
BIG BROTHER IS UNGOOD. But this statement, which 
to an orthodox ear merely conveyed a self-evident absur- 
dity, could not have been sustained by reasoned argument, 
because the necessary words were not available. Ideas inim- 389 

ical to Ingsoc could only be entertained in a vague wordless 
form, and could only be named in very broad terms which 
lumped together and condemned whole groups of heresies 
without defining them in doing so. One could, in fact, only 
use Newspeak for unorthodox purposes by illegitimately 
translating some of the words back into Oldspeak. For ex- 
ample, ALL MANS ARE EQUAL was a possible Newspeak 
sentence, but only in the same sense in which ALL MEN 
ARE REDHAIRED is a possible Oldspeak sentence. It did 
not contain a grammatical error, but it expressed a palpa- 
ble untruth — i.e. that all men are of equal size, weight, or 
strength. The concept of political equality no longer existed, 
and this secondary meaning had accordingly been purged 
out of the word EQUAL. In 1984, when Oldspeak was still 
the normal means of communication, the danger theo- 
retically existed that in using Newspeak words one might 
remember their original meanings. In practice it was not 
difficult for any person well grounded in DOUBLETHINK 
to avoid doing this, but within a couple of generations even 
the possibility of such a lapse would have vaished. A per- 
son growing up with Newspeak as his sole language would 
no more know that EQUAL had once had the second- 
ary meaning of 'politically equal', or that FREE had once 
meant 'intellectually free', than for instance, a person who 
had never heard of chess would be aware of the secondary 
meanings attaching to QUEEN and ROOK. There would 
be many crimes and errors which it would be beyond his 
power to commit, simply because they were nameless and 
therefore unimaginable. And it was to be foreseen that with 


the passage of time the distinguishing characteristics of 
Newspeak would become more and more pronounced — its 
words growing fewer and fewer, their meanings more and 
more rigid, and the chance of putting them to improper 
uses always diminishing. 

When Oldspeak had been once and for all superseded, 
the last link with the past would have been severed. History 
had already been rewritten, but fragments of the literature 
of the past survived here and there, imperfectly censored, 
and so long as one retained one's knowledge of Oldspeak 
it was possible to read them. In the future such fragments, 
even if they chanced to survive, would be unintelligible 
and untranslatable. It was impossible to translate any pas- 
sage of Oldspeak into Newspeak unless it either referred to 
some technical process or some very simple everyday ac- 
tion, or was already orthodox (GOODTHINKFUL would 
be the Newspeak expression) in tendency. In practice this 
meant that no book written before approximately 1960 
could be translated as a whole. Pre-revolutionary literature 
could only be subjected to ideological translation — that is, 
alteration in sense as well as language. Take for example 
the well-known passage from the Declaration of Indepen- 


Free eBooks at Planet 391 


It would have been quite impossible to render this into 
Newspeak while keeping to the sense of the original. The 
nearest one could come to doing so would be to swallow the 
whole passage up in the single word CRIMETHINK. A full 
translation could only be an ideological translation, where- 
by Jefferson's words would be changed into a panegyric on 
absolute government. 

A good deal of the literature of the past was, indeed, al- 
ready being transformed in this way. Considerations of 
prestige made it desirable to preserve the memory of cer- 
tain historical figures, while at the same time bringing 
their achievements into line with the philosophy of Ingsoc. 
Various writers, such as Shakespeare, Milton, Swift, By- 
ron, Dickens, and some others were therefore in process of 
translation: when the task had been completed, their orig- 
inal writings, with all else that survived of the literature 
of the past, would be destroyed. These translations were 
a slow and difficult business, and it was not expected that 
they would be finished before the first or second decade of 
the twenty-first century. There were also large quantities of 
merely utilitarian literature — indispensable technical man- 


uals, and the like — that had to be treated in the same way. It 
was chiefly in order to allow time for the preliminary work 
of translation that the final adoption of Newspeak had been 
fixed for so late a date as 2050. 

Free eBooks at Planet 

Alexander Merow 

Prey World 

Citizen 1-564398B-278843 



Prey World 


Foreword 5 

Citizen 1-564398B-278843 7 

Automated Trial 23 

Big Eye 31 

The Change 49 

Outsourced 56 

World Peace in Ivas? 82 

Rebellion and Fresh Snow 98 

Procrastination is the Thief of Time! 116 

Aux Champs-Elysees 139 

The Lull before the Storm 155 

Bomb-happy... 171 

Red Moon 178 

With him 193 

Prey World - Citizen 1-564398B-278843 


The year 2028. Mankind is in the stranglehold of a 
worldwide surveillance state. Frank Kohlhaas, a petty 
citizen, lives a cheerless life, working as an agency worker 
in a steel plant. 

One day, he gets into a conflict with the tyrannical system, 
because of an unfortunate accident. An automated trail 
convicts him to five years of imprisonment and Frank 
disappears in a detention centre, where he suffers under a 
cruel system of brainwashing and reeducation. 
After eight months of pain, the authorities decide to transfer 
him to another prison. On the way there, something 
unexpected happens. Suddenly everything changes and the 
young man finds himself caught between the fronts... 


This is the English version of the first book of Alexander 

Merow's "Prey World" series. The novel was translated by 

Thorsten Weber - and the whole procedure entailed a lot of 

work. But it was also really funny. 

It is not a professional translation and the translator is not a 

"native speaker" or English teacher. He is just a guy who 

loves science-fiction and dystopias. So try not to laugh at 

some of the translated phrases, or the wrath of a real freak 

will come over you! 

Nevertheless, we thought that would be a good idea to 

translate this interesting, courageous and critical novel into 

the English language. At the same time it will also enable 

English speaking people to join Alexander Merow's growing 


"Prey World" is neither an ordinary book nor light 

entertainment. There is already plenty of "light 

entertainment" in our times - far too much. On the other 

hand, there are not enough books like "Prey World". Books 

that make you think about the world we live in. And it is 

important that people begin to think. 

The author has already found numerous interested readers 

all over Germany, and we hope, he will find additional 

readers in the English-speaking countries. We would also 

be glad, if a "real" mother-tongue speaker were to edit this 

English version one day. 

Some readers compare "Prey World" with George Orweirs 

"1984", the classic among the dystopic novels. Others see 

elements of Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451" in it. 

However, critical thinkers and friends of so called 

"conspiracy theories" will have their fun with "Prey World". Is 

Alexander Merow' s vision of the future really realistic at all? 
A worldwide surveillance state? A World Government under 
the control of a ruthless secret society? We will see! 

And always remember... 

"Only a fool would think that "Prey World" is nothing 
but fiction!" (Alexander Merow) 

Have fun! 

Alexander Merow and Thorsten Weber, Berlin 201 1 

"Maybe it is nothing but madness and suicide. Maybe it will 
not change the world, but this is not important for me. 
Nevertheless, it will change something for me! 
I have suffered too much to humble myself anymore. They 
have told us to humble ourselves - since the kindergarten. 
Shut up! Consume! Obey! Endure! Believe everything! 
Watch shit! Buy shit! Eat shit! Turn the other cheek! 
What has become of us? Why have we become sheep? 
Why do we endure this all without doing something? Why 
has nobody the guts to act? 

Thorsten's books were a real eye-opener to me! Now, I 
know who they are and what they plan for us all. And I can't 
forget what they have done to me. They call us "cattle". 
Okay, then I will be the black sheep in the flock. And the 
black sheep will fight back now! And it does not fear the 
butcher anymore, because even a butcher can be killed. 
Franky, the little black sheep, will make them pay now! And 
I hope that the flock of white sheep will wake up some day." 

P.S.: If I don't come back, please give this book to Julia... 

Diary entry of Frank Kohlhaas, 17.02.2029 

Citizen 1-564398B-278843 

Frank Kohlhaas, who was called citizen 1-564398B-278843 
in his everyday life, because this was his official 
administrative code, was already dreaming of the 
unpleasant smell in the hall of his flat, reminding him of 
rotten eggs. In his mind, shortly before 5.00 o'clock in the 
morning - soon the dream would be terminated by the 
alarm - Frank was on a walk through a sunny valley. But 
even at this beautiful place, the moldy smell was still 
pervasive, so that Frank wondered, how such a beautiful 
valley could smell so repulsive. 

When the alarm-clock rang, it quickly became clear that the 
sunny valley was just fantasy, although the smell was real. 
The noise was shrill and Frank awoke swearing. Now he 
had to get up, put on his clothes, have a hasty breakfast 
and walk to the production complex 42-B. 
„Damn!", hissed the unshaven man as he moved his not 
excessively tall, but amazingly strong body from his cheaply 
produced bed. 

„Hmmmhaaa!", yawned Frank, shuffling through his still dark 
apartment to the next room, where a dirty kitchen was 
waiting for him. The citizen tore open the refrigerator door 
and chocked down a cheese sandwich, the meager left- 
overs from yesterday's supper. 

The water kettle was started with a loud whoosh and, after a 
few minustes, supplied hot water for a cup of instant coffee. 
„Nnnhhaa!", uttered the young man, a statement, that could 
be interpreted in many ways at this early hour, and could 
have referred to his life situation in general. At 5.27 o'clock, 
Frank closed the battered door behind himself and walked 
listlessly down the dark corridor on his way to descend the 

even darker stairway. The source of that foul stench, that 

had been torturing Frank's nose for days, was somewhere 

here. Perhaps one of the other tenants, damn idiot, had left 

his garbage in the corridor. 

J don't know...", he muttered. 

Each morning it was the same old story: „Rising, eating, 

walking, slogging away...", as Kohlhaas always said. 

In the past years, he had learned to hate his life. He was 25 

years old now, living in a more than shabby flat on the 

outskirts of the former FRG capital, Berlin, working for 

modest wages as a temporary help in a steel plant. In 

former times, he had wanted to study, but this issue was 

over - for reasons that Frank never mentioned. 

Actually, he was not dumb, but, according to his own words, 

he couldn't hack it yet. However, the job at the steel plant 

was better than nothing, because it gave him the chance to 

earn some money and to survive - an advantage that was 

not enjoyed by millions of Germans in the year 2027. 

As he now groped along again on this particular morning, 

step by step towards the plant, he passed demolished 

houses in the twilight and crowds of homeless people lying 

in masses in the dark corners of the streets. 

„What would be, if I simply didn't care about the 

consequences and went home again, got back into my bed 

and just slept until tomorrow?", he thought sometimes. 

„What would it be like if I just packed my bags and 

disappeared from this rotten city, this scruffy country?", he 

asked himself occasionally. 

But where was it any different? He should enjoy, what he 

had - he'd got a job and didn't go hungry. That was at least 

something, thought Frank. 

After the worker had gone through a very long and dark 

underpass without giving a Globe coin to the drunken 

beggar there, the production complex came into Frank's 

vision. It was 5.53 in the morning and the workers for the 
early shift stood there waiting, smoking, jawing. 
When the factory gates finally opened at 6 o'clock, about 
200 workers poured through them like a viscous mash. Most 
of them were not in any rush to begin their work, but it had 
to be, there was no other way. 
"No alternative!", as Frank always said. 
After ten hours, they went back home again. All were dirty 
and tired, but happy that the work was over for the day. 
Frank crept through the corridor on his floor, which was still 
dim even by day, and unlocked the door of his apartment. 
There were no new messages on the Scanchip and that 
was good, because it were usually only calculations: 
electricity, water and such things. Frank had placed the 
television in his bedroom the day before, so if he couldn't 
fall asleep, he could turn it on. The program did not interest 
him, but with the sound of anyone talking, he didn't feel so 
alone in this dark block of flats. 

Kohlhaas just knew his neighbours from brief encounters. 
Many of them only left their apartments to go to work and 
some of them had become serious boozers in recent years. 
From time to time someone would bawl from his balcony or 
accosted people, passing "his block" - but after a while, 
everyone was sleeping. 

Citizen 1-564398B-278843 watched television till 22.37 
o'clock: the news („War of the global armed forces against 
dangerous terrorists in Iran"), talk shows, easy 
entertainment on all fronts, warnings of the second dog flu 
epidemic and the necessity for the immediate compulsory 
inoculation. Then he fell asleep, although meanwhile the 
foul smell from outside seemed to have lodged itself in his 

Next day... 


„Good morning, Frank!", muttered Dirk Weber, one of the 
foremen. „Good morning, Dirk!", answered Frank listlessly. It 
was 6.03 o'clock, the morning shift began. A-341, this was 
the designation of the young man as worker and temporary 
help in the steel plant, gave his helping hands for many 
operational steps till the clock indicated 10.30. 
Now it was time for a short lunch, and when Frank 
unwraped his only bun which was covered with a piece of 
salami, he did not suspect, that an unpleasant stroke of fate 
would wait for him in the following minutes. 
Since approximately half a year, the production complex' 
administration had arranged the singing of the "One-World- 
Song", due to a new international regulation, before every 
lunch time in each production complex - for the increase of 
work moral and to strengthen the international doctrine of 
„peace, freedom, prosperity and equality" that was 
propagated by the World Government since 2018. The 
official of the "Ministry for Production Supervision", stationed 
in this enterprise, Mr. Gert Sasse, who was mostly in his 
office above the factory building, had conscientiously come 
down to the workers to sing the "One-World-Song" with 
them. It was always the same. 

..Workers, now is lunch time! But we will sing first!", he 
shouted through the hall and the steel workers formed to a 
bored line, in order to enjoy the short break after the 

"We are the children of One-World and we are all equal! 

We love our One-World, the great realm of peace! 

We don't know any classes, we don't know any races..." 

Frank heard ever more rarely on the text in the last weeks, 
didn't move his lips and stared at the ceiling of the dirty 
production hall. ..Hurry up!", he thought and boredly scraped 


with his left foot over the dusty ground. Then the singing 

was over. 

„Gosh! This stupid song is really getting on my nerves!", 

said the labourer very quietly to himself. 

„AH right, men! That could be done - halfway! Enjoy your 

meal!", called the official of the "Ministry for Production 

Supervision" and A-341 looked forward to a hungry bite in 

his softened roll. 

But while his teeth eagerly crushed the salty piece of 

salami, he was hit by an angry look of Mr. Sasse. The 

supervisor narrowed his eyes to slits and looked like an 

aggressive bulldog. 

„A-341! Yes, you! Come to me! Hurry!", he roared at the top 

of his lungs. 

This got Frank's adrenalin flowing. He didn't need quarrel at 

work anymore. 

„Come on, A-341!", yelled Mr. Sasse, waving the worker 

nearer. Kohlhaas followed the order immediately. 

„l am just a fool for you, isn't it?", hissed the man. 

„! Of course not, Sir. ..Mr. Sasse!", stammered 


J fail to see what you mean...", he added stumbling. 

„How I mean this, you idiot?", screamed the official with a 

look which gave the young man the biggest possible 

uneasiness. A malicious silence prevailed for several 

oppressive seconds. Meanwhile, the eyes of the superior 

threateningly became smaller and bushy, black eyebrows 

were pushed over them. 

A second later, Frank saw a fist with fatty fingers fly towards 

his face. It suddenly hurt and his nasal bone reacted with a 

cracking on the punch. While some blood threads flowed 

down from his nose, A-341 heard a growl: „How I mean that, 

you numbskull?" 


„lf I give the instruction that the „One-World-Song" has to be 

sung, you have to sing it too. This was an order!", 

completed Mr. Sasse his powerful argument. 

His intonation varied now between satisfaction and 

rampantly growing meanness. In the meantime, Kohlhaas 

had gone to the ground. This punch had been really hard 

and Sasse gave him another kick in the ribs now. 

„Do you understand, idiot? You probably think, that you 

have a special status here, isn't it?", he roared. 

The other workers googled at him and hid their faces behind 

their rolls. Meanwhile, Kohlhaas felt like a kicked dog, 

humiliated in front of the rest of his colleagues - what was 

very close to reality. Without considering his action, he 

jumped up and positioned himself in front of the official of 

the "Ministry for Production Supervision". 

"You can be glad, that you are my superior, otherwise I 

would break you every bone!", screamed Frank with boiling 

fury. Gert Sasse was baffled. A-341 obstinately wiped off 

the blood from his lip. 

One hour later, the worker still waited in front of the door of 
the production complex leader. Sasse was in his office and 
Frank heard him swearing and ranting. This was no good 

„A-341, come in!", resounded the voice of the highest boss 
of this work plant over the brightly illuminated corridor. The 
young man started moving and took a seat on the chair in 
the middle of the office room. A short silence followed, then 
it began. 

J took a look on your Scanchip, A-341!", reported Mr. 
Reimers, the production complex leader. „ln the ten years of 
your activity here, you had come too late three times. Apart 
from that, this is not the first time that you make a spectacle 


of yourself. You are already occured to me, because of 
subversive statements at work which can probably also be 
confirmed by your colleagues. We have even marked you 
with a blue code 67-Beta, if you didn't know it yet, A-341! 
We will examine the video tapes of your working days in this 
complex in the next days, with our new "Voice-Analysis- 
System", and Tim sure that we will find some more 
subversive statements. 

But what you have done today, is a real scandal! 
Threatening an official of the highest authority of production 
supervision. Is there just air in your head, boy? If I don't 
take drastic measures in a case like this, my superiors will 
make me a lot of problems. 

I must dismiss you, A-341! Further, I am correctly obligated, 
to react on such an unbelievable incident with a message to 
the responsible administration. Disappear now from this 
production complex, and never come back, A-341!" 
Frank Kohlhaas, the just dismissed worker, was struck 
dumb with horror. His vocal chords seemed to be rusted, his 
throat was tied and his courage was put on ice somewhere. 
He went out, just went out, pale as death, with a roaring 
head, without answering. Frank had lost his job, his source 
for subsistence. And this was no fun in these joyless days. 

Like in trance, the young man went into the changing room 
of the production complex and absently opened the baggy 
sheet door of his spint. ..Dismissal" - this word sounded like 
the cut of a razor in the ear of each listener in this time. It 
was related to the word ..liquidation", because it was the 
destruction of the social existence. Being dismissed meant 
to get no more Globes, as the international currency was 
called since the year 2018. If Frank would not find a new 
employment as soon as possible, he could lose his 
apartment, his food and finally also his life. Any social 


security, warranted by the state, had completely been 
abolished since the total collapse of world economy in 
winter 2012/13. And it was more than difficult, to find work in 
a time, in which the industrial production in old Central and 
Western Europe had mostly been outsourced to the Third 
World. Therefore, millions of Europeans tried to survive by 
doing extremly bad paid jobs in this dark present. They had 
nothing to lose, so they were glad about every breadline 
wage they could get. Those, who were not able to find a 
possibility to earn some money in any way, ended as 
beggars and homeless people, hanging around under 
bridges or in vacant house ruins. 

On the next day, Frank was not awaked by the shrill sound 

of his alarm, after an sorrowful and restless night, but by the 

disgusting stench which came from the stairway. The smell 

had not been liquidated by anyone - against the spirit of the 


Only in the early morning hours, he had been able to sleep 

for a while, because of his constant brooding and the 

unpleasant thoughts that had tortured him during the night. 

As first thought of the new grey day, the face of Mr. Sasse 

appeared in his head and the face of citizen 1-564398B- 

278843 changed to a hateful grimace, when he mused 

about killing the official with an iron rod. 

„This damn hybrid! If my life goes down the drain, because 

of that guy, then I will smash the skull of this bastard before 

I go to hell!", hissed Frank, erupting in anger. 

He finally crept out of his bed and stared down at the dirty 

street in front of his apartement block. 

„Damn! What shall I do now?", he thought. J must find a 

new job, otherwise they will close the account on my 

Scanchip, because I can't pay the fucking calculations any 



After a further hour of useless musing, he left his dwelling, 

tried not to inhale too deeply on the corridor, and walked the 

dark stairs down to the ground floor. 

The elevator was defective since months and nobody 

seemed to waste a thought about repairing it. The only one, 

Frank could imagine as a potential employer in this 

hardship, was Stefan Meise, the junkdealer, an old 


Meise' s scrapyard was about half an hour foot march 

distant from Frank's apartment block. He hit the road, 

walked down the ugly street, which was covered with 

garbage, and finally reached his goal - a place full of rusty 

cars and all kinds of metal debris. 

Nevertheless, Stefan Meise was not difficult to find between 

the mountains of scrap iron. He was very tall, thick, bearded 

and looked hardly differed from what he collected and sold. 

„Hello Stefan! How are you?", welcomed him Frank quietly, 

trying to smile. 

„Oh, Frank Kohlhaas! What's up, man?", answered the thick 

junkdealer. "You haven't been here for ages!" 

"I just thought, I could visit you. Does the scrap metal trade 

still run, Stefan?", asked Frank. „You have here... eh... a lot 

of rusty stuff... Where do you find so much junk?" 

„Ha! I collect, what I can find. As all junkdealers do. Why do 

you ask me this, Frank? Can I help you?", returned Meise. 

„l have lost my job yesterday", told Frank, while the fat man 

looked at him quizzically. Then, Meise stroke with his oily, 

broad fingers over his dirty black overall. 

.That's a disaster, Frank! And now?", asked Stefan and 

shook his head. 

„Now, I'm looking for something new. Some kind of 

temporary job, you know? Perhaps, you still need another 

helping hand?", murmured the young man. 


For half a minute, Meise just googled at the unemployed 

man with his yellowish, bulging eyes. Then he looked 

around and tried to give his unpleasant answer as carefully 

as possible. 

..Working for me?", he inquired. ..Thus, Frank, the situation 

is... eh. ..the times are bad. We all know this, my friend. I 

almost run everything alone here and only Ralf helps me 

from time to time. This is actually enough. I don't need a 

second man, sorry!" 

Frank Kohlhaas had never been a good actor and who saw 

him now, could feel his disappointment. 

„And only for two months?", he asked. 

„l need none here, and I can't afford a second man, Frank!", 

explained the thick, filthy man and turned away. „l'm sorry, 

but I have to do some work now. No offense, but there is no 

chance for you to find work here." 

Back home, Frank hissed one of his worst curses and 

kicked against the kitchen table. He desperately scanned 

his brain for other possibilities of employment and checked 

all production complexes around Berlin in his mind. But the 

problem was, that his boss had given him a negative entry 

in his Scanchip register after the conflict with Mr. Sasse, 

what made it difficult to get a job in another steel plant. 

He still had 246 Globes on his electronic account for this 

month. More than 400 Globes he had to pay only for his 

apartment in this rotted estate of prefabricated houses. 

Time pressed now, with each day a little bit more, and the 

dark shadow of despair grew with the passing hours. It 

occupied Frank's mind like a malicious ulcer. 

After the young man had watched an extremely stupid 

sitcom, he switched off the television and tried to sleep. But 

it was only 23,00 o'clock and regrettably the exhaustion had 

not achieved the necessary level yet, to turn off Frank's 

brain and give him some peace of mind. 


Several hours followed, when Frank was staring at the dark 
ceiling, cursing the production complex 42-B with all its 
superiors, supervisors and workers. 

Then the stench from the hall became noticeable to him 
again and the fog of despair in his head swelled so strongly 
that the young man thought about killing himself. 
He mused about operating the bad thoughts and concerns 
under his skullcap with a heavy-calibered shotgun which 
would completely spread his brain over the yellowed 
wallpaper behind his bedstead. And Frank Kohlhaas still 
thought about many other things in this terrible night. 
He brooded over his so far senseless life, the isolation, the 
monotonousness and the gaping abyss that waited for him 
now. Frank came to no solution in this night and not even 
the smallest glimmer of hope seemed to shine somewhere. 
Nothing. Outside it was dark. In front of the house, Frank 
could recognize a few ripped garbage bags, which already 
lay there since several weeks. Then he was finally so tired, 
that he fell asleep with his head on the window sill. 

Up to the end of the week, the search for a new job was 
unsuccessful - as he had already expected it. It seemed 
that there was no more work at all, in the periphery of 
several kilometers. Furthermore, a inquiry at the local 
administration had proven that Frank had meanwhile a 
negative entry in his Scanchip register, because of 
..disturbance of peace at the workplace". 
..Perhaps, the idea with the shotgun is not too bad at all! But 
before that, I will visit this Sasse!", grumbled Frank on 
Friday, when the short weekend for his former colleagues of 
the production complex 42-B began. 
On Saturday and Sunday, he invested his last Globes in the 
cheap liquor from the kiosk at the corner. Alone in his small, 
modestly furnished apartment, in the dark block of flats, in a 


much darker time. His fate and his pain was not noticed by 

anyone else. Just like Frank Kohlhaas had never noticed 

the pain of the others who lifed their lives in their 

honeycombs, behind the shabby, gray walls of this 


If he would drink himself to death or blew his head away, he 

would soon smell like the corridor on his floor, and it would 

probably not even been noticed by his neighbors. This 

thought was somehow so sick that it elecited Frank a 

tormented smile. 

Hard alcohol had not the best reputation, but one thing was 

clear: It had already given millions of desperate people a 

good sleep. No concern could be so big, that it couldn't be 

drowned in a wave of the good and, above all, cheap booze 

from the nearby kiosk. Frank checked this old truth in a 


„Beep! Beep! Beep!", it resounded on Monday at 6.30 

o'clock in the morning from the kitchen, where the drunk 

man had forgotten his Scanchip. „Beep! Beep! Beep!" 

An electronic woman's voice always repeated... 

„Good morning, citizen 1-564398B-278843! You have a 
message of priority level alpha on your Scanchip!" 

„Good morning, citizen 1-564398B-278843! You have a 
message of priority level alpha on your Scanchip!" 

„Good morning, citizen 1-564398B-278843! You have a 
message of priority level alpha on your Scanchip!" 

„Hmmm...", hummed Frank, still a bit dazed from the night 


„Damn! What?", he muttered and rolled out of his bed which 

still smelled of alcohol. 

„What the hell? Damn! Shut up!", he grunted and walked 

with a bad headache to the kitchen table. 

It lasted a little eternity until Frank had remembered the pin 

code and had found his way through the message-menu of 

the Scanchip. 


"Citation? What?", whispered citizen 1-564398B-278843. He 

had to read it twice, in order to believe it. Did somebody try 

to kid him? 

„What the fuck is that?", he could only say. 

Official citation: 

Citizen 1-564398B-278843, 

You are officially cited to an automated trial on 
14.08.2027 at 8.00 o'clock. 


- Massive disturbation at the workplace 

- Theoretical aggravated battery 

Appear at the mentioned time in court cell 4/211, at your 
local juridical complex. In the case of nonappearance, 
you will be punished with the deletion of your Scanchip 
or arrest! (*§127b, „Citizen Obligations and theoretical 

Official document code: 257789000-0100567- 
2345441 1 1 3-EGN-59900-4/21 1 
Culprit number: 319444-556.77 


Thank you for your cooperation! 

Frank's atomised brain began to hurt and to rotate. 
..Citation? What do you want from me?" 
He was totally confused and couldn't remember any crimes 
in his past life. 

..Just because I've yelled at this damned Sasse?", he 
thought. ..This can't be true! I finally did not touch him. I 
have just lost control for some seconds. I don't understand 
this. And what the hell do they mean with ..theoretical 
aggravated battery"?" 

And there was no doubt. Frank Kohlhaas, the helping out 
citizen with the official code 1-564398B-278843, had never 
done something bad to another person. Except for the time 
in the kindergarten, back then, as he had given this stupid 
Kevin a little slap and his parents had been called to the 
authorithies. The local education officials had briefly 
become anxiously and had explanied that Frank would have 
some ..subliminal aggressions" and a ..precarious masculine 
behavior". Then they had suggested a therapy with 

But this was many years ago. Furthermore, the therapy 
could be avoided, after the child had repetend its "sins" in 
front of a committee of psychologists and social 
pedagogues, and his parents had insured, that they would 
immediately report Frank's next "crimes", if he would 
become noticeable again in this context. 
But he never became noticeable again. He always stuck to 
the rules until this day; in the kindergarten, the elementary 
school and everywhere else. Since his fifth year of life, he 
had always been a good boy. No, he was not noticeable at 
all. And of course he was no human being with ..subliminal 
aggressions". Sometimes in his thoughts or dreams, he beat 
up a superior or an administrative coworker, but this was a 


secret and Frank had never talked about his thought crimes. 
He was just "normal", as he meant. 

Apart from this, it was also the first time that the otherwise 
perfectly inconspicuous plattenbau-inhabitant Frank 
Kohlhaas had come in contact with an ..automated trial". The 
citizen had already heard about this, once in the news, 
since it had been introduced by the World Government 
three years ago. But the young man could not imagine, what 
this strange process really was. But why should a decent 
person like Frank think about such things? He had never 
become culpable and had nothing to do with criminality. 
Therefore, the accused had not the foggiest notion, what 
waited for him now and so he wasn't too much concerned 
about this citation. 

It was probably nothing but a pure formality, circumstances, 
which could be clarified. Frank had not hurt anybody and 
therefore he also could not be condemned. The young man 
had already lost his job, because of the so called 
"disturbation of peace at the workplace". There was no 
reason to be worried, thought Kohlhaas. 
Now the unemployed man absently hit the button ..Voice 
Presentation" so that the message was slowly read out by a 
computer-animated woman's voice. This was also a 
novelty. The administration had introduced the "Voice 
Presentation" some years ago, because more and more 
citizens of Berlin were illiterate, above all, the younger 
generation. So an important official message had always to 
be available in read out form. 

The rest of this day wasn't very spectacular and the 
"automated trail" was already tomorrow. ..Then I will have a 
reason to rise", said Frank to himself and grinned cynically. 
Shortly afterwards, Kohlhaas tried to call his father to ask 
him for some money, but he didn't reach anybody during 


the whole day. Nevertheless, there was some more liquor in 
the kitchen. Frank decided to get royally drunk once again, 
and fell asleep at midnight. He almost forgot to set his 


Automated Trial 

Although it was August, this morning was very cold and 

dark. Frank's neck hurt and he had another headache from 

last night's drunkenness. The local juridical complex was 

over one hour foot march distant from his apartment block, 

but the citizen thought, that it could be a good idea to go 

and get some, more or less, fresh air. In addition, he could 

fight the aftereffects of his hangover. 

He hastily gulped down some toast, swallowed the 

dissolvable coffee and examined the label on the plastic can 

of the coffee powder. 

„Globe Food" was written on it and Frank could see a world 

ball. Above the globe was a pyramid with an eye on its top. 

At the bottom of the picture was the slogan: „Food for the 


„Amusing symbol!", murmured Frank into his three-day 


He had never noticed this logo before, although he only 

bought his food in the cheap „Globe Food" supermarkets, 

which dominated Berlin. Then the thought left his head 

again, as fast as it had come. 

The unusual cold weather let Frank shiver. A draft of fresh 
air blew through the dark stairway and temporary flushed 
away even the smell of bad eggs. In front of him, a neighbor 
walked down to the exit and Frank considered if he had 
seen the face of this man ever before. 
The man said something sounding like "Hello!", but 
Kohlhaas wasn't sure. The accused slowly walked forward 
and was still dizzy. He briefly looked at the playground in 
the yard and beheld some children who were screaming 


with shrill voices in an incomprehensible language. Was it 
Turkish? Or Arabic? 

When the clock indicated 7.43, he could already recognize 

the outlines of the juridical complex from the distance. It was 

a large red building with hundreds of windows and over 30 

floors. Dozens of court cells were in front of it, one of them 

was waiting for him. The chambers, in which people could 

get their "automated trial", were made of a gray metal and 

about four meters wide, as Frank guessed from his distant 


Three other citizens already stood before them, between 

them were some police officers. Slowly he became nervous. 

Perhaps this hearing was nevertheless more unpleasantly, 

than he had imagined at first. 

Now it was necessary to pass an electrical gate, which was 

protected by a doorman in a small, brown house. The 

official gave Frank a sign to come nearer. 

„Come here!", he called. 

The young man ran forward and positioned himself in front 

of the entrance of the guardroom. 

„Scanchip!", said the doorman, holding a laser scanner in 

his hand. Wordlessly he pulled the Scanchip out of Frank's 

hand, without looking at him, and said after a short „beep" of 

his code reader: „Court cell 4/211! Hurry up! It is nearly 8.00 

o'clock! If you come too late, it will be just more expensive 

for you!" 

Frank's heart started to pound faster. Fearfully, he started 

to search the court cells, in order to find his number. The 

other accused examined him with some brief looks. 

„Row 4! Shit! I must hurry up... 211...", lamented Frank, 

becoming more and more nervous. Meanwhile, only two 

minutes remained, till his hearing would start. He began to 


run and with a racing heart and an increasing headache, he 

correctly reached his court cell in time. 

Gasping for breath, he was welcomed by an electronic 

woman's voice: ..Welcome citizen 1-564398B-278843, to 

your automated trail! Please enter your culprit number on 

the display and press OK!" 

Frank pulled the Scanchip out of his trouser pocket, opened 

the message menu, and tried to enter his culprit number. A 

rarely known panic attacked him now. He looked around, 

gasping for breath again. 

..Actually, I don't have to go in this damn metal box, 

because I didn't do anything!", he whispered, but the door 

was already open. Frank's hands became sweaty, while he 

breathed louder. 

In front of him, a weakly lit up metallic hole had opened 

itself, which requested him to step forward now. 

..Come in, citizen 1-564398B-278843! Your trial is already 

running!", it resounded from a loudspeaker at the ceiling of 

the halfdark chamber. Frank Kohlhaas knew that he had no 

chance to refuse the order. It was nevertheless an official 

instruction and there was never and in no case room for a 

discussion or exception. 

He made a step forward and his knees felt more weak with 

each passing second. Then a screen flashed. The 

"automated trial" against the theoretical delinquent Frank 

Kohlhaas took its course. 

In large and bright letters, the reproaches could be read on 
the screen: 


- Massive disturbation at the workplace 

- Theoretical aggravated battery 


Frank swallowed and let out a big gush of air. The terribly 
sounding woman's voice, as friendly as an unnoticed virus, 
began with some remarks. A detailed description of the 
progression of events, the listing of witnesses and additional 
"sub-charges" followed, for example ..subversive statements 
at work" - and some more. 

For several minutes, the young man didn't say anything, 
and besides, nobody had asked him for his point of view, 
only the computer voice was talking, implementing and 

Frank's former colleagues, Schmidt, Adiguzel and Nyang, 
had confirmed the fact, that the young man had refused the 
singing of the "One-World-Song" several times and had 
even described the text as "nonsens" on 02.04.2027. 
Production supervisor Sasse had added that the aggressive 
mimic and the use of "strong vocabulary" during the 
argument in the factory, would be an evidence for Frank's 
tendency of "unnecessary analyzing of absolutely justified 
instructions" and "subliminal aggressions". 
The boss of the production complex had confirmed this too. 
Further details followed: legal regulations and regulations 
for extended and deeper instructions in the reference to the 
list and redefinition of defaults - and more. 

"You can be glad that you are my superior, otherwise I 
would break you every bone!" 

The intention of striking the superior, was more than clearly 
proven, in the eyes of the automated court. The difference 
between a (in such a way) formulated intention and an 
actually implemented act, was relatively small, according to 
the modern understanding of law which was oriented 
towards psychology and statistics. Further, the probability to 
commit this act one day in reality, had also enormously 


increased, because the intention had clearly been 
formulated. (Compare: „BMI of calibration of actual, 
theoretical and probable behavior" from 02.10.2020, 
document code: V-LUN-36777192934457656-Z, (89) ") 

Frank googled at the screen like a stunned cow, which had 
walked against an electrical fence. He was not able to think 
that fast, how this computer programme made him to a 
potential interference factor, a danger for the order of the 
worldwide system, basing on freedom and humanitarianism. 
After an hour, the lecture finally came to an end. Now a new 
menu appeared on the screen. The woman's voice with the 
electronic taste kindly read out the sentences, sounding like 
sudden frost in Frank's ears: 

„lf you deny the charges, please click on NO!" 

"If you admit the charges, please klick on YES!" 

Citizen 1-564398B-278843 hesitated, perked his eyebrows 

up and tried to arrange his thoughts. 

„What is this shit? Tve done nothing wrong, nothing at all! 

This whole crap is a bad joke!", yelled Frank through the 

court cell. For a second, he thought about crushing this 

damn screen with a kick. 

„l will choose NO! I'm innocent! No! I click NO! No 

question!", he screamed angrily. 

The accused hammered on the keys in front of him and 

selected NO. Now he had to wait. The computer hummed. 

..Loading" could be seen on the screen in bright letters. 

Frank felt relieved for a short moment. 

„Now that fucking thing knows that I am innocent. I 

expressed myself clearly: NO!", he said grimly. Then he 

smiled, a bit exhausted, while the inner tension started to 


die down. Shortly afterwards, he got the answer of the 
automated court computer, with metallic sound and cruelly 
combined letters on the bright screen: 

..Accused, you selected NO! This means, you deny the 
reproaches and assume our juridical system, led by 
humanistic principles, not to consider these! 
Unfortunately, we must tell you that the selection of the 
menu option NO leads, in principle, to an increased 
measure of punishment, because it shows the 
intransigence of the culprit..." 

The court decision is loaded... 

The young man paused, gaped at the screen and cursed 
quietly, while his mouth became an astonished, shocked 
hole. Frank Kohlhaas' understanding seemed to be 
blocked, briefly put on „standby". The data were too large 
and too terrible, in order to be able to be processed by his 
brain. The biological computer under his skullcap just 
seemed to fall into chaos and started to collapse. 
Then the gleeful shining screen of court cell 4/21 1 struck in 
his face with still more malice. The judgement was 

„Citizen 1-564398B-278843! You are condemned to 5 

years of detention in a center for reeducation and 


To the reason: In your case, the statistic probability for 

theoretical aggravated battery is at 78, 11%! 

The statistic probability for prospective subversive 

behavior is at 53.59% in your case! Moreover, the 

selection of the menu option NO increases the penalty. 

But you can be unconcerned. Meanwhile, there are 


numerous governmental institutions, in which human 
beings like you can get modern theraphies on the 
highest level of science, in order to begin a happy and 
adapted new life in our humanistic society! We thank 
you for your understanding!" 

Frank's eyes bored into the screen and his ears roared. The 
electronic woman's voice resounded in his head like the 
echo of an atomic explosion. It became a slimy worm, which 
ate its way through his pinna towards his brain. 
„5 years of detention?", stammered the man. 
Frank tried to explain himself, that his hearing had deceived 
him, but the cruel news were also in front of his eyes. 
Unfortunately, both senses could not err. He was 
condemned. It was correct. 

Still in a condition of shock, the accused hardly noticed, 
when the electronic lock engaged behind him, blocking the 
court cell automatically. The damnation had been 
proclaimed and the trap had sprung. In the first minutes, 
Frank was much too perplex to be able to realize this. The 
despair in this early moment was far too big that it could 
give room to feelings like hate or rage. 

For this procedure, 411.66 Globes were deducted from 
Frank's Scanchip account, what was also mentioned by the 
computer voice. 

He might behave and wait, until the police officers would 
come to arrest him. Then he would be brought to a transport 
vehicle, as the computer explained. Citizen 1-564398B- 
278843 listened to these further instructions without 
showing any emotions. The condition of torpidity was too 
serious. Half an hour later, he suddenly jumped up in his 
despair, in order to cry. But a strange weakness had 


captured his mind and after a short emotional outburst, 
Kohlhaas crept into a dark corner and waited. 
..Perhaps it is just a misunderstanding? It could surely be 
cleared up!", it temporarily flared up in his mind. "I must talk 
to the officials. They can. ..can help me, to find a solution. 
The computer must have erred." 

When two policemen arrived at the court cell, about one 

hour later, they already heard Frank complaing from a 


J think, that is the loudest guy today!", sneered a 


"He has a real big mouth!", said the other. 

The steel door of the dark court chamber opened and 

offered a sorry sight to the policemen. But it was not a 

picture, which was strange to them. Outbreaks of accused 

people after automated trials, were nothing new for them. 

They brought Frank to one of the vehicles... 


Big eye 

The transport to „Big Eye", one of the largest and most 

modern high safety prisons in the entire administrative 

sector ..Central Europe", did not last for a long time, but it 

seemed to go on forever for Frank. Mentally absent, like hit 

by an arrow full of narcotic poison, he stared vacantly into 


The police officers ignored him and talked most of the time 

about a new TV show, called „The Little Whisperer", where 

children could win prices if they uncovered "subversive 

behavior" among their relatives or neighbors. 

Actually, the young man had planned to address the police 

officers, to tell them that everything was just a judicial error, 

but he did not do it. And they did not seem to have any 

interest to make some small talk with him. 

After a while, the outlines of an enormous prison complex 

appeared on the horizon. This was „Big Eye". Frank had 

once seen a report on television about this institute, where 

only happy and healed ..patients" (this was the official 

designation) were shown to the people. Now he was on the 

way there. 

The building was surrounded by high concrete walls, which 

were provided with barbed wire and watchtowers. It had 

several floors and on an outside wall, the prisoner 

recognized the strange symbol, he had already seen before 

on the label of his coffee powder glass. 

A pyramid with an eye on its top. The sign looked somehow 

differently than the escutcheon of the "Globe Food" chain of 

stores, but nevertheless, the similarity was clear. „Big Eye" - 

the great eye. Nobody could escape from its view!", thought 

Frank, driven by fear. He should be right. 


The patient finally left the transporter and the officers did not 
have to become rough this time. He followed them, was 
silent and accepted all their instructions like being on drugs. 
Dress order, behavioral code, sleeping time. He hardly 
heard on all the talk, musing about the rising nightmare 
around him. 

If he listened or not, was quite immaterial. He should remain 
here for five long years, according to an official court 
decision, and had therefore time enough to internalize the 
routine of the day to the smallest detail. After Frank had 
undressed, he received a white shirt and white trousers, just 
as white trainers. 

„You will get a new set every week!", explained one of the 
attendants. „Follow me now, citizen 1-564398B-278843! 
From now on, you are called "Patient 111-F-47" in this 
institute! Do you understand this?" Frank answered with a 
nod and followed the man. 

„Now go with the execution officials, they will bring you to 
your cell in block F. Don't make problems!" 
The new prisoner was lead many stairways up to one of the 
highest floors of the prison complex. Internally broken, he 
stared at the ground, but even in his lethargic state of 
shock, he noticed that nothing could be heard from the other 
prisoners. No discussions, no crying or any other sound. It 
was oppressing. The long corridors of „Big Eye" were 
uncanny quiet and all the numbered cell doors were made 
of extremely thick steel. The cell with the number 47, in 
block F, was provided for Frank. He tried to explain himself, 
that everything was nothing but a nightmare. It could not be 
real and soon he would wake up, in order to enjoy the 
stench from his stairway at first. He would run out of his 
apartment and loudly yell over the corridor: „Nice, that you 
are here, stench!" 


Yes, he would do it, because this prison could only be a 
cruel vision in the depths of his mind, and in the next 
moment this scenario would just split like an unpleasant 
thought. But it was not like that. 

„1 1 1-F-47! Here we are! This is your cell!", one of the 
execution officials suddenly said. The sturdy man with the 
brown mustachio and the sharp-edged cheek bone entered 
an access code and the cell door opened. 
„ln there, 111-F-47!", he grunted. 

In this second, clarity returned to Frank's mind again. The 
young man abruptly realized, that he would spend the next 
five years in this room. This let his sanity splinter like glass. 
He broke down and lost consciousness. 

After an indefinite time, Frank came round again. Waked up 

by a blazing neon light, which penetrated his lids. He was 

still dazed, felt sick and the glow stabbed in his skull like a 

sharp spear. 

„Wake up, patient 111-F-47!", said a voice somewhere in 

the room. 

„Wake up, patient 111-F-47!", it resonated again. Frank 

layed with his back on a light gray plank bed of pleather and 

his headache returned with a vengeance. 

„Wake up, patient 111-F-47!" Again and again and again. 

The head of the young man hurt, as if somebody had put it 

into a vice, he was hungry and felt tired and frail. 

„l_eave me alone!", he begged and tried to turn away from 

the sharp light, but it was impossible. 

„Patient 111-F-47! Listen!", it resounded from the ceiling of 

the cell. 

Frank sat down on the edge of the plank bed and held the 

hands over his eyes. „What do you want from me?", he 



..Welcome to your holo cell, patient 111-F-47! Don't be 
scared! You are in a mental hospital and we want to help 
you!", told the metallic woman's voice from the loudspeaker. 
..This new holo cell is a part of your therapy, patient 111-F- 
47! We use these mechanisms here in „Big Eye", helping 
you to regain the path of the adapted citizen. In this holo 
cell, all outlines just blur; it is unlimited, like our "One World", 
whose happy citizen you will be after your healing, patient 

Trust us and our newest therapy. Developed by 
philanthropists, in order to help people. This cell contains 
the freedom, because it does not know borders. It is your 
freedom to heal yourself, the freedom of your mind which 
will learn with our help!" 

Frank Kohlhaas still held his hurting head. This light was 
intolerable and it should still last weeks, until he had got 
halfway accustomed to its sharp brightness. Finally, he 
examined his new home. The room had a size of perhaps 
hundred square meters, maybe it was a bit smaller. Frank 
could hardly see the outlines of the walls or the cell door, 
because of the bright, white light. 

The glow was terrible and it penetrated his brain completely. 
Even if Frank screwed up his eyes, this unnatural brightness 
besieged his barricaded head persistently like an army. 
Frank's headache became stronger. Then he just vomited 
on his plank bed and crept into a corner. 
..Patient 111-F-47! Do you hear us? You are in a holo cell! 
Do you understand this? If so, then lift your hand!", 
demanded the loudspeaker energetically. 
The sick man signaled the fact that he had understood and 
still huddled in the corner. In the cell were no things, only 
the plank bed and a toilet at the opposite wall. Otherwise, 
here was only the biting light. 


„You will get one hour of reeducation, twice a day!", 
explained the unnatural voice from the upper corner of the 
room. „The first reeducation hour begins in 30 minutes, 
patient 1 1 1 -F-47! Get ready!" 

Frank was overtaxed with this situation and dug his face, 
still hiding in the corner, behind his knees. He tried to think 
about nothing and would have done everything to switch 
that light off. But this was not within his power. As nothing in 
„Big Eye" was within his power. 

He was nothing but a white mouse here, a small laboratory 
rat in a cage, that had to endure everything the sadistic 
inventors of this so called „mental hospital" had invented. 
Shortly afterwards, the reeducation hour began, whereby 
the loudspeaker intensively explained 111-F-47 the reasons 
for his „therapy" again. It said, that they wanted to make a 
„good human being" of Frank. „A human being, which is 
human, by overcoming its humanity!" 
The brainwash lasted a whole hour, while the light burned 
and hurt more and more. Occasionally, the prisoner lost 
orientation, because the sharp light was like a white nebula. 
Frank tried to fight the pain in his head, but he was at this 
cell's mercy. Furthermore, he was in the hands of the cruel 
blaze and the metallically sounding talk of this steel 
computer woman, that tormented him. 
„l can't stand this insanity for two weeks!", said Frank to 
himself and winced. „l want it to stop! Please, God!", he 

But God didn't hear him. The acoustic insulation of the holo 
cell was much too perfect, deep down in the prison complex 
„Big Eye". If Frank had a God here, then it was him or her or 
it, the thing behind the loudspeaker. At night, at 22.00 
o'clock, the sharp light was switched off. The whole room 
suddenly became dark then. So pitch-dark that even the 
smallest source of light did not remain. Frank couldn't see 


the hand before his eyes anymore and in his head, the 
aftereffects of the blinding blaze jumped around as manifold 
colors. There was only extreme brightness or extreme 
darkness in this cell. Whoever had developed the concept of 
this instrument of torture, knew exactly, that this cruel form 
of conditioning could transform even the unruliest man to a 
willing slave, within only a short time. And so the first days 
in „Big Eye" slowly passed, leaving countless deep scars in 
the mind of the young man. But there was no escape. No 
possibility to flee, no rescue by God. Only the devil seemed 
to be interested in „Big Eye" - probably he had even 
designed this hell on earth. 

„Stand tall, patient 111-F-47! Here in „Big Eye" is no quarrel 
among the inmates, there are no rebellions and no 
annoyance - everyone remains for himself, during the entire 
term of imprisonment. You, 111-F-47, are one of the first ill 
human beings, who have the luck, to receive a therapy in a 
holo cell. We are happy for you, that the computer-assisted 
selective procedure has chosen you for this room. 
Behave willingly, be flexible and learn to respect the rules of 
the system! Not every patient here has the luck, to be 
healed a holo cell. You are one of the prototypes. Support 
the developers of this new form of healing, by helping your 
therapy to success!", it resounded through the room one 

On other days, patient 111-F-47 was explained, how 
important it was to believe everything the media told him. 
How necessary it was, to free human beings from their 
instincts, to format and reprogram their minds so that they 
could overcome all their natural instincts. Furthermore, how 
inevitable the sedation of human beings was, so that they 
could reach a state of happiness. How important 


consumption and maximization of profit were, for a 
functioning society. 

In these long weeks of isolation, the strange artificial days 
and the black unnatural nights, it was Frank's largest 
concern, not to go insane. The isolation, the boredom and, 
above all, the haunting light had soon transformed him into 
a pathetic creature. He often thought about his father and 
his sister, the only members of his family, who were still 
there. Frank's mother had died three years ago, he had 
loved her very much and with her death he had lost not only 
his biological mother, but also his best friend, his closest 
reference person in this world. The time after her death had 
been hard. Now, nobody was left to talk to. 
To his father, Rainer Kohlhaas, who lived in the eastern part 
of Berlin, Frank had had only irregular contact. Rarely, too 
rarely, he had visited him so far, if he was honest. But 
Rainer Kohlhaas was an unemotional, taciturn man, and 
each discussion with him was laborious. 
Frank and Rainer had frequently argued in former times. 
Often the father had openly shown his displeasure about 
Frank's path through life and had always upholded Frank's 
sister Martina, as the positive example. His son had hated 
these permanent comparisons, but now, all this was no 
longer important. 

From time to time he had telephoned with his older sister, 
the more successful one of the two children. Martina had 
become a teacher, had married and Frank had often envied 
her, because of her good payment. But one day, she had 
confessed to him, how fraught and exhaustive her job was. 
She just hated to work on her school. 
She teached the subjects „Biology "and ..English" at a 
school complex in Wuppertal, in the sub-district Westfalen- 
Rheinland. Martina described the situation in German 


schools as more than intolerable, and Frank had the 
suspicion that she already drank and took tranquilizers. But 
she held on, for her husband and her son, the little Nico. 
However, citizen 1-564398B-278843 had seen his nephew 
only twice and had always been proud to be his uncle. 
In these terrible days, he often thought about the rest of his 
family which probably didn't know at all, that he was locked 
up here. Perhaps, they would only be surprised about the 
fact, that Frank didn't answer the telephone since weeks. 
Perhaps the police had even informed his family members - 
that he had become an offender and was a criminal now, 
and had to face his fair punishment in that prison. He just 
didn't know, but he could imagine his father's face, if he got 
that message. 

J have always said, that the boy wastes his life. Now my old 
sorrow has finally been confirmed!", he had probably 
murmured. The prisoner didn't try to think too much about 
these unpleasant things. 

„What has happened to my apartment?", he pondered. „l'm 
sure that they have already rented it to another person. This 
can be done fast if the rent can't be deducted from the 
Scanchip anymore." 

In these days, Frank could only speak with himself and tried 
to handle the pain. But it did not change anything. He had 
served only one month in this room, but Frank already got 
the feeling that he had walked from one end of hell to the 

It was not easy to persevere here. And the daily two 
reeducation hours finally became even the most interesting 
things, which happened on a day in the holo cell. After a 
while, Frank occasionally even looked forward to them. 
Nevertheless, sometimes he tried to destroy the 
loudspeaker, which hung much too high, to tear it down. 
Then he became so angry that he kicked against the walls 


or bit in his underarm till it bled. Frank's lonely fight against 
windmills continued for a while in such a way. Always 
unsuccessful and ever more closer to the loss of his good 
judgement. Sometimes he cried below the loudspeaker, 
begged for grace and forgiveness and promised to follow 
each rule and each regulation for all eternity. He swore, to 
believe everything, what they told him. But nobody ever 

When two months had passed, Frank broke out in tears 
ever more frequently or crawled under his light gray plank 
bed. He thought, that insanity had already found him and 
skid down into a state of permanent panic. Patient 111-F-47 
didn't trust his own judgement any longer and felt seperated 
from the rest of the world like by a great ocean. 
In the second month of his term of imprisonment, he made 
"insanity" to his companion. He invisaged him as another 
inmate, as a cellmate. 

A very tall guy, gaunt, with completely pale skin and deep 
furrows in the face. Also dressed in the correct white cell 
clothes of „Big Eye". However, if the "insanity" sat beside 
him on the plank bed, he unfortunately never answered. He 
just sneered at him, showing Kohlhaas his yellowish-brown 
teeth. But nevertheless, Frank told his spooky friend a lot of 

Sometimes the patient also imagined, that „Mr. Madness", 
as Frank called him after a while, snored in the complete 
darkness of the night, lying somewhere in the room. Then 
he crept over the ground and tried to find his strange 
cellmate, in order to tell to him that he might be silent. Frank 
thought about much confusing things and nobody could say, 
if the young men still knew, that it were confusing things. It 
was a nocturnal trip beyond the borders of human 
understanding, a mental journey through the darkest tunnels 


of his mind. And every morning, Kohlhaas was awaked by 
that bright, hellish light again. 

..That's the army of the light particles, which destroys my 
lids with their ramming supports, piece by piece, pouring 
into my head-fortress with loud screams - slaughtering 
everything without further warning. And this cruel horde 
massacres my helpless grey cells!", said the young man, if 
he could hardly bear it. 

Then he had phases, in which he searched his body on 
diseases for hours. He found malicious knots and parasites 
everywhere. His body seemed to be full of degenerated 
pimples and strange maladies under the skin, which filled 
his mind with sorrows. 

At the end of the third month, he discovered some red 
points on the white wall behind the toilet, when he huddled 
on the ground, in order to protect himself against the 
aggressive light. Frank was sure that it were traces of blood, 
which had only provisionally been overcoated with white 
color by the prison's staff. 

Mr. Madness had no opinion about this, he just sat in the 
corner and beheld Frank sadly. Often Kohlhaas 
remembered, whether it was actually possible, to smash his 
own head against the wall or the ceramic toilet bowl so 
hardly, that this torture was over. What would happen? 
Would the attendants save him, just to let him rot here until 
doomsday? Another possibility was, to bite open his pulse 
veins. Unfortunately, there were no bedlinen or other things 
in this cell, which would have made a suicide possible. 
But each time, when Frank had these thoughts, he finally 
lost the courage to do it. Moreover, Mr. Madness always 
looked worriedly at him in these situations, still sitting in his 
corner. The light disappeared, it was 22,00 o'clock. 
Starting from the fourth month of his captivity in the holo 
cell, Frank Kohlhaas spent the most days with being just 


motionless for hours, lying on his belly - under the plank 


„May this damn light hit Mr. Madness! May he sit on the 

plank bed! I will stay here. Here, that blaze will never find 

me!", he said to himself with a lunatic smile. 

Meanwhile, Frank thought about his family more rarely. And 

what was the use anyhow? He was separated from the rest 

of the world. And his father, his sister or the little Nico, could 

not safe him from this horror. 

And as the computer-controlled woman voice had already 

explained in one of the reeducation hours: „The connections 

to family and kinship are errors of nature, and all citizens of 

the New World Order must get along without them! They 

must be corrected by modern rules. 

Interhuman relations harm the new order and obstruct the 

economic development. Humans must learn to overcome 

them. Having a family is not progressive, it restrains every 

advancement. Forget your family, because your new 

community is the community of the "One-World". You are 

part of the whole, patient 111-F-47, and the whole is a part 

of you!" 

His only entertainment in this confusing time was to 

examine the dust grains on the cell ground and Frank 

wondered how many interesting forms and colors he could 


Sometimes it was really fascinaiting for him and so he 

hardly listened, if the gentle voice of reeducation from the 

loudspeaker explained to him, why the old order of the world 

was just wrong, and the new order was good without 


When the fifth month began, Frank suddenly became 

talkative. He talked with Mr. Madness about a lot of things 

and often his speeches lasted several hours. He invented 

lectures, which were similar to the instructions of the 


reeducation hours. Meanwhile, Frank planned to reeducate 
Mr. Madness, a very important personality who had already 
visited millions of people around the world. 
Sometimes he preached the most important facts of each 
current reeducation hour, he recited them, yelled them and 
sometimes he tried to kick or beat Mr. Madness, if his pupil 
didn't show enough interest. Although, he actually viewed 
this gentleman in the corner, who sometimes also sat on his 
plank bed, as his cell comrade and friend, he had 
occasionally to give some pain to him, so that he learned. 
But all his attemps to hit the imaginary man were 
unsuccessful. After a while, Frank had kicked a little hole in 
the white wall of the holo cell - but he had never hit Mr. 

When another month had passed, Frank had given it up to 
convince Mr. Madness, to become also a good citizen of the 
new world state. Now he tried to memorize every single 
word of the reeducation hours and often he could 
completely repeat the first two or three minutes by heart. 
He cried, sang and howled the slogans from the 
loudspeaker like a parrot. The necessity of the registration 
of earth's population, the obligation of obeying, the 
autoregulation of economics, the inevitability of a society 
without sexes, nations and races, the necessary dissolution 
of all cultures and religions, the requirement of inhumanity 
as the basis of a new humanity. 

His memory proved, although it was already owergrown by 
a mushroom of insanity, as amazingly good. Frank saw 
himself as a learner and with bloodshot eyes he cried, while 
the loudspeaker talked: „Jawohl! This is the only truth!" 


Meanwhile half a year had passed and patient 1 1 1-F-47 had 
developed many possibilities of overcoming the hours and 
days. He had even set up an own daily plan in his mind: 

- Meal 

- Learn as much words from the reeducation hour as I can 

- Explain them to Mr. Madness (however, only if he listened) 

- Investigate the fibers of the white wallpaper more exactly 

- Finding new dust particles on the ground 

- Lunch 

- Arguing with Mr. Madness 

Frank's meal rations came through a hatch in the wall three 
times a day. The inventors of the holo cell had kindly made 
certain that he had never to leave this terrible room, not 
even for the intake of food. 

Two months later, the monitoring cameras of „Big Eye", 

which always kept every corner in this big prison complex in 

sight, including room 47 in block F, saw a broken man, lying 

like dead with face down on his plank bed. 

Frank Kohlhaas, patient 111-F-47, seemed to have slipped 

into an endless lethargy. Meanwhile, he wished nothing 

more than the end of his shattered existence. 

The cruel treatment had internally destroyed him, and even 

the irrational behavior and the emotional outbreaks, which 

had kept him alive for so long, were over. 

Over eight months of holo cell had corroded his mind so 

strongly, that his body seemed to refuse its service any 

longer under such inhuman conditions. 

The sharp, malicious light, which tormented him 14 hours a 

day, hand in hand with the impenetrable darkness of the 

artificial nights, had finally crushed Frank's will to live. The 

holo cell 47 in block F, this hell chamber without windows, 


with only a plank bed, a toilet and a little hatch in the white 

wall, was ultimately the winner in this war against insanity. 

Not even Frank's only friend, the mutely smiling Mr. 

Madness, had had the guts to stay here any longer - he had 


On 21.03.2028, the light was switched off again at 22.00 

o'clock in the evening by the computer-controlled system of 


The unconscious Frank Kohlhaas, who layed somewhere in 

this cell, down on the ground, with his face in a puddle of 

saliva, was swallowed by the darkness again. He did no 

longer notice it. 

The next day, the army of light particles started another 
great attack on Frank's head. With loud crashing it surged 
against his lids like a battering ram and awoke the halfdead 
patient again. But Frank's will was already destroyed and 
why should he be interested in another day of hundreds 
more in this holo cell. He hoped, with the still smoldering 
rest of his understanding, that he would meet death as soon 
as possible. Kohlhaas was sure, that he would praise the 
Grim Reaper like a redeemer, when he would finally come. 
On 22.03.2028 at 9.45 o'clock in the morning, the electronic 
woman voice suddenly resounded through the brightly 
illuminated cell. Frank lay on the ground like a dying animal 
and hardly heard this anymore. The small part of his brain, 
which hadn't been razed to the ground and hadn't been 
brunt by the horde of light particles yet, was briefly surprised 
for a second about the fact that there was another 
announcement after the wake-up call. Then Frank's mind 
switched off again. Nevertheless, this was unusual. 
„l_isten, patient 111-F-47! Your holo cell has been given to 
another patient by the computer-controlled administration of 
„Big Eye". You will be brought to the mental hospital "World 


Peace" in Bonn, where your therapy will be continued for 
the next four years and four months. Please be 
unconcerned, your healing process will not be interrupted. A 
holo cell of the same type is available for you in "World 

The young man hardly thought about the content of the 
announcement. They should freight him, whereto they ever 
wanted. He would hopefully soon be dead and free. 

But up to the next morning, he still lived. Or better said: His 

heart refused stopping, although his owner really wished it - 

"from the heart". He hadn't moved at all, during the whole 

day and the following night, because he took his desire to 

die very seriously. 

But the three execution officials, who opened his holo cell 

punctually at 8.00 o'clock and entered the room, didn't 

understand this. They were the first human beings since 

over eight months, who visited Frank here - to bring him 

from A to B, from one hell chamber to the next. 

„The guy still breathes, but he is totally down!", said one of 

the three guards. 

„Hey! Stand up, man! Don't waste our time!", remarked 

another and kicked Frank in the back. 

„Hrrrr!", hummed the prisoner. 

„Shit, the guy is really broken! Uwe, look at this!" The third 

enforcement officer was astonished. "Bring us some 

stimulants! We need some extra help in this case!" 

One of the officials departed and came back with a cup of 

water and two red pills after a quarter of an hour. 

„Hey! Hey, 111-F-47! Open your mouth!. Yes, good boy! 

And now, down with it!", he muttered. 

Frank swallowed the pills and was able to walk after a few 

minutes. He didn't understand, what happened to him and 


hardly noticed, that he was on the way to leave the 

abhorrent holo cell behind him. 

„Go! Get a grip, man! Just walk!. Yes, this is good. One foot 

before the other one! Forward!", said the guard and 

supported Frank cynically. 

Patient 111-F-47 had to be carried out of the prison building, 

more or less, because he was too weak to walk. After a 

while, the policemen simply pushed the young man forward. 

„That the guy isn't fit yet, after two pills of steroin!", 

remarked the officer with surprise. „Hurry up! The driver of 

the transporter is waiting in hall B!" 

The three man brought the picture of misery, which once 
had been called Frank Kohlhaas, with the help of steroin, a 
highly concentrated stimulant, and some beats against the 
head to the transport van. 

Frank crept over the three stages of a metal stair and sank 
down on one of the seats. His hands were secured with 
handcuffs behind his back and he stared at the ground. 
„Watch out for this guy! He is finished! Maybe he gonna 
vomit in our van! Ha, ha!", said a guard to his colleagues. 
„We will watch out for him! Don't worry!", answered one of 
the policemen with a grin. 

Next to Frank were two other officers and a further prisoner 
in the back area of the transport van. The cops were armed 
with shotguns and tied Frank, who almost slipped on the 
ground, and also the other inmate, with an additional seat 
belt. Both men could only move their legs now. 
The transport van started moving at 9.00 o'clock, and finally 
left the prison complex. Even if Frank had had the 
opportunity, to have a last look at the hated place of horror, 
which had brought him to his knees, he probably wouldn't 
have done it. First of all, the back area of the transporter, 
secured by lattices, had no windows anyway, and secondly, 


patient 111-F-47 didn't care, where he would find death. If it 

was in "Big Eye" or in "World Peace" or somewhere else, 

wasn't important anymore. His only concern was, if it would 

go fast. 

After they had driven one quarter of an hour and nobody 

had spoken a word, the prisoner, sitting diagonally opposite 

to Frank, hissed: „Hey! Pssst! I am Alf! Who are you?" 

Frank ignored the question of the man. It didn't interest him, 

who still sat there. He stared at the metallic ground of the 

van's back area with blank look. 

Suddenly one of the policemen said: „Baumer, you crank! 

Stop that damn whispering! Contact among prisoners is 

against the regulations!" 

J thought, we are patients?", answered the prisoner 

sardonically, giving Frank a nod. 

Now the policeman reacted. He struck Baumer in the face 

and grumbled: „Oh, I'm sorry, asshole! I didn't want to be 


The prisoner swallowed some blood and saliva and looked 

at Frank with psychotic eyes. However, the young man was 

still mute and didn't mention the small sign of defiantness, 

the other prisoner had shown. 

"Alf Baumer!", he thought briefly, then his mind sank again 

into a blurred fog. 

Alfred Baumer, patient 578-H-21, was a tall man. He had a 

dark brown beard, broad shoulders and a tattoo at the neck. 

The few hasty looks, Frank had given to him, showed the 

picture of an aggressive man, who was about thirty years 

old. Above all, Alf's bright blue eyes and the large scar in 

the right half of his face were noticeable. 

How long the trip had already lasted, Kohlhaas could hardly 

say anymore. Perhaps a further quarter of an hour. Alfred 

seemed to have the things more clearly in sight. He 

hatefully stared at the police officers with his blue eyes, 


baring his teeth and looking at Frank from time to time. This 
man seemed to wait for something... 


The Change 

In a small forest, close to the highway BAS-74, four men 

lurked in the rainy undergrowth and peered eastwards. They 

wore camouflage clothes and their faces were hidden under 

black balaclavas. Three of them fumbled nervously with 

their assault rifles, while another man had a field glass and 

gave instructions to his comrades. 

„How much longer, Sven?", asked one of the men. 

„l will already tell you. They must soon be here! And 

remeber: Jens only shoots at the tires, the rest only shoots 

at the drivers!", answered Sven. „And don't perforate the 

back area of the van by mistake, got it?", he added. 

„The whole thing is damn risky. I hope, we will come home 

alive!", said one of the men quietly. 

„lt is too late for such thoughts now. We will just do it! Check 

your weapons!", hissed the young man with the field glass. 

The minutes passed and the four men crawled further 

forward, in the direction of the road. Sven suddenly stopped, 

waving the other men nearer. 

„Look! Over there! It's the van! Go!", he called. 

All jumped under cover and grabbed their assault rifles. The 

transport van, the four men had waited for several hours, 

came closer with medium speed. 

Another long and tense minute passed, full of doubts and 

uncertainty in the hearts of the four men. Then it began. And 

while the three policemen, who sat in the driver's cab of the 

transport van, were still grouching about the fact that they 

had to drive from Bernau to Bonn, just because of the 

transfer of only two prisoners, they suddenly saw four 

shadows, coming closer to their vehicle from the forest. 


„Now! Fire!", roared the scout with the field glass and all four 

men raised their weapons in the air, rushed forward and 

sent a deafening hail of bullets to the transporter. 

„Tac! Tac! Tac! Tad", it echoed through the small forest and 

the four men continued to shoot at the windshield and the 

tires of the vehicle. 

With a loud clank, the windows of the transport van bursted 

and it turned out in hurling. Then the damaged vehicle 


„Kill these rats!", screamed a masked men and fired at the 

driver's cab. One of the two officials in the forepart of the 

van got a headshot and an enormous bloodstain spreaded 

over the headrest of his seat. Another policeman was also 

hit in the arm and tried to find cover behind the engine 

mount, searching for his weapon in panic. The third tore up 

the passenger door and fired wildly at the masked attackers. 

A salvo of two assault rifles finally sent him to the ground. 

Meanwhile, the four men had come so close to the vehicle, 

that they could also fire from the side at the policeman, who 

huddled between the seats. One of the men raised his rifle 

and executed the official with an angry burst. 

..Destroy the detector!", screamed one of the masked men 

and the guy, who was called Sven by the others, jumped 

forward and shot with his pistol at a radio-like thing in the 

front part of the transporter. 

„Bolt cutters! Hurry! Hurry!", he yelled and the four men ran 

to the backdoor of the vehicle. 

The sound of gunfire, coming from outside, had not been 
unnoticed by the two police officers, who guarded Frank 
Kohlhaas and Alf Baumer. Even patient 111-F-47 seemed 
to have briefly lost his mental confusion and looked around 
with surprise. 


„What the hell goes on there?", said one of the officers, 

loading his shotgun. Then he opened the door of the van's 

back area. The other policeman followed him. 

„Help me out!", roared Baumer at the top of his lungs and 

gave one of the officers a kick in the abdomen. 

In the same moment, the door was broken up and light fell 

into the darkness of the back area from the outside. One of 

the guards fired out of the van and hit a masked attacker, 

who tried to enter the vehicle. The head of the man 

exploded like an overripe melon and Frank stared at a cloud 

of blood and bone fragments, while he staggered to the 


The remaining three attackers answered with fire bursts of 

their assault rifles and killed the policeman, who stumbled 

on the street like a bleeding sieve. 

Meanwhile, Frank began to cry like a tormented child. He 

shrieked in pain and wildly pulled, in an accumulation of 

unrestrained rage, on his additional seat belt, tearing it out 

of its holder. Then Frank hit the second guard's face with a 

high kick and the man tumbled down. 

Now the inmate squealed like a pig and started then to 

laugh loudly. Finally, the laughter became an insane 

screaming. Suddenly Frank's eyes were clear and gory, and 

before the three other masked men had come into the back 

area of the vehicle, he had sent the last policeman to the 

ground with a headbutt. His hands were still bound on his 

back, but he stomped on the guard's face and the man 

broke down again. 

Frank swooped down on him and bit in his cheek like a wild 

animal. A shot from a handgun followed, which had almost 

hit the crazy Kohlhaas - then also the last policeman was 

dead. Frank howled and still kicked several times in the 

head of the dying man. The other men finally pulled him out 

of the van. His white dress was blood-smeared and Frank 


reminded the masked men, who confusedly stood in front of 

him, rather of a mad butcher than a prisoner. Now he 

seemed to fall in a state of blankness again and sat down, 

totally exhausted, on the metallic stairs of the transport 


„Well, what's up now, man? Come on! Or do you want to 

wait for the next policemen?", asked Alf. 

Baumer trailed him and followed the three other men into 

the forest. Now it was important to hurry, because the 

operation had lasted far too long and, moreover, such a 

slaughter hadn't been planned. 

Furthermore, they had lost a man and it was just luck that 

no other car had come along the country road, otherwise 

the bloodshed would have been much worse. The three 

disguised men and Alfred, who was trying to propel Frank, 

fastly ran through the thicket. 

„Move!", roared one of the three masked men. „Dash it! 

What are you waiting for?" 

Alf Baumer gripped Kohlhaas at the collar and ordered him 

to run faster, but the confused young man still walked slowly 

behind him. 

„lf your buddy does not hurry a little more, I will shoot him, 

Alf! I mean it!", yelled one of the three men, who was 

running ahead. 

Alfred stood before Frank, vibrated him and growled: „This 

is your only chance, you idiot! If they get you now, you are a 

dead man! Come with me, trust me!" 

Frank Kohlhaas hadn't been able to trust anyone in the last 

months and the mental bleeding, the holo cell had 

demanded of him, had been enormous. But the word „trust" 

sounded like a gentle balsam in his ears, that had only 

absorbed poison for such a long time. The fresh cold forest 

air, he was inhaling now, slowly showed him that this 

opportunity to attain freedom, should not be thrown away. 


Suddenly he ran, ran and ran, catched up with the others 
and disappeared with them in the thicket of the forest. The 
five men reached a large field after some minutes, where 
were an old looking and small airplane was waiting for them. 
They jumped into the flier and shut a rusty door behind 
themselves. All were totally exhausted and wheezed loudly, 
while the plane took off. 

„Who is that guy, Alf?", asked one of the three liberators 

with an unfriendly undertone and pulled the balaclava from 

his face. The young man was blond, with short hair and a 

boyish face. 

J have no notion! He has been transported together with 

me!", answered Alf. 

„Tell us your name, man!", demanded the blond man and 

regarded Frank with a searching look. 

„Frank Kohlhaas, citizen 1-564398B-278843....", hummed 

Frank and closed his eyes. 

„Your citizen number isn't interesting for us, buddy! We 

don't need to have this shit!", hissed the young man, who 

was called Sven by the others. „We are free men and no 

slaves with citizen numbers." 

„Well, I think this man has been in a holo cell. That's the 

reason, why he is so abstracted!" Alf tried to explain. 

„Such a cell... ", stammered Frank. 

„A holo cell? That thing, which is currently tested by the 

GSA in all prisons worldwide? Really?", asked one of the 

three rebels with surprise. 

„No wonder, that you seem to be on drugs. These things are 

the worst instruments of brainwashing of our time. How long 

have you been in this hellish cell?" 

J think, since August 2027. ..leave me alone...", hummed 

Frank quietly and hid his face behind his knees again, as he 

had done it so often in the last months. Then he turned to 


the side and dozed in his usual half-sleep, although the 
outdated airplane made a big noise and vibrated during the 
whole flight. 

In the year 2028, it was not easy to organize an operation 
like this, because of the almost perfect air surveillance in 
"Central Europe". However, this flier was inconspicuous, 
because it had been registered as an outdated, but 
nevertheless permitted transportation in the Baltic. If the 
plane was scanned by the computer of a satellite or an air 
surveillance station, it was just shown as the transport 
aircraft of a man called Matas Litov, a Lithuanian farmer, in 
the data bases of the European monitoring servers. 
The chip card of the plane had been changed by a highly 
gifted computer hacker, who had made it perfectly 
inconspicuous. But even the arts of this man had their limits, 
and one day the constantly improved monitoring could 
probably also recognize his tricks. 

Anyhow, the authorities hadn't been prepared for such a 
brutal attack on a prisoner transporter. And it was also just 
luck, that the operation had finally been successful. 
Frank Kohlhaas, whose citizen number was no longer of 
importance, flew with the others over Poland towards the 
the former Baltic states, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. 
Meanwhile, the three abolished national states had been 
summarized with other former countries of Eastern Europe 
to a single administrative sector. 

In Eastern Europe, the complete monitoring of the 
population and the entire public life was so far not as perfect 
as in North America or in Western Europe. Many states of 
Eastern Europe had refused to blindly obey the instructions 
of the World Government for a long time. This new power 
had been established in the western regions at first and so it 


just took longer, until a complex monitoring network of 
western standards could be installed there. 
But the World Government also planned the same extensive 
system of total control for Eastern Europe. And it did 
everything, to build it up, as soon as possible. 
In the year 2028, the British islands were the most sharply 
supervised area of the world. Here, the doom had built up 
its first strong bastion in the past, from where it had come 
over the rest of mankind. 

In England, the World Government already tested and 
introduced the next steps for global domination. For 
example, the complete prohibition of sexual contacts 
between men and women, the total destruction of any family 
structures, and even a breeding of the population after the 
defaults of economic necessity. 

Who wanted to fight against this tyranny, was really a 
dreamer and had to have a good relationship to his maker, 
because the propability to meet him soon, was very high. 
Like Alf and his fellows, who apparently thought, that they 
could change something. Anyhow, Frank Kohlhaas was with 
them now - and enjoyed it. He was just happy to breathe 
fresh air and had the feeling, that he had been born again. 
How often he had begged the Grim Reaper to come, to end 
the torture of the holo cell. But the Gevatter apparently did 
not want him yet. Now, everything had changed... 



..Outsourcing" was one of the infamous terms of 

globalization, which had broken loose with all its power at 

the beginning of the 21th century. Now Frank had also been 

outsourced somehow. He had left the administrative sector 

..Central Europe" and was "stored" elsewhere. 

The old airplane flew over the area of the former state of 

Poland, over the city of Kaliningrad, the old Konigsberg, 

which had meanwhile fallen into ruins, and finally was on its 

way to the Southern Baltic, in order to land in a rural area 

north of Vilkija, in a little village called Ivas. 

The five men were exhausted and hardly noticed the 

landscape below them beyond the windows. Frank was still 

disturbed and could only occasionally understand, what was 

happening to him. He suffered under strange muscle 

cramps and was, despite his constant fatigue, not in the 

condition to sleep for longer than half an hour. 

His eyes were always half open and he felt, as if someone 

had put a bag full of cement on his head. After the airplane 

had landed, Alf helped him to step out and led him to an 

rundown house. 

„Can I sleep somewhere, or just lie down?", asked him 


„Yes, don't worry! I have found a place to sleep for you!", 

answered Alf and pulled the young man into the building. 

„We have to discuss something, Frank. You can rest here - 

see you later!", said Alf and showed Kohlhaas an old bed in 

an untidy and halfdark room with a dark red, peeling 

wallpaper. Frank turned to the side and tried to sleep. He 

hardly made it, but nevertheless, the young man had the 

feeling that he already felt better. After he had been in a 


condition of dozing for some hours, he finally nodded off. He 
did not dream about anything. It was just black in his head. 
As black as it had always been in the holo cell, in the eight 
artificial hours of the night. 

Next day... 

„We have escaped the next cops by the skin of our teeth, as 

I think. I feel sorry for Rolf Weinert, a good man, only 29 

years old", said Alf to the others. „Thank you, that you have 

delivered me from this hell. I know, I always seem to be 

hard and tough, but I was also close to the end in "Big Eye". 

That other guy is simply wasted, but it would probably be 

the same with us all, if they would cage us in a holo cell for 

eight months. This Frank is a poor creature!" 

„We haven't planned the liberation of a second man, Alf!", 

remarked a young man with red hair. 

„So what? What should have been done? Would it have 

been right, to let this Frank just die? He would not have 

survived one more week in "World Peace", got it?", returned 


„Well, actually the fate of an unknown man is not interesting 

for us. The only important thing is our own thing, okay?", 

said another man sternly. 

J will care for him. What will he do? Call the fucking 

Lithuanian police?", grumbled Alf with an angry face. 

„This is a real problem, Baumer! If the guy becomes a 

safety risk, we must kill him. You know about our rules!", 

said a blond man. 

„l know that, little boy! You don't need to tell me our 

principles! I have already joined our fight in a time, when 

you were nothing but a panty wetting baby!", hissed Alf in 

the direction of the young fighter. 


„Peace, people! You were successful and you are still alive! 
Meanwhile, only the big armored busses are used for 
prisoner transports since two years. This has been an 
exception! The fact that they have used an outdated 
transport van this time, was just because only two prisoners 
had to be transferred to Bonn. And a bus would have 
exceeded the budget for such an unimportant trip. These 
new tank-like monsters are not so easy to stop. You need a 
rocket launcher or something like that, to bring them to a 
halt!", said a tall man in the background. He was perhaps 
about fifty years old. 

The man had come later to the small group. His name was 
Thorsten Wilden, a former businessman, who had fled to 
Lithuania some years ago. Slender, gray haired, with an 
oblong face and a remarkable pointed chin. The man 
seemed to be very rational and impersonal, and gave the 
impression that he had already gone through a lot of 
hardship in his life. 

..However, the boy is right. Tomorrow I want to become 
acquainted with this Frank. I hope, he won't make us 
problems here, otherwise we have no other choice than 
silencing him", said the tall man, who apparently had a 
leading position is this group of men. 
„He won't make problems! Nevertheless, the boy is totally 
exhausted!", meant Alf and rolled his eyes. 
„Where is he now?", asked Wilden. 

„ln my house. Thus, I mean, in John's house. He is 
sleeping!", muttered Alf. "I will keep him in sight and I will 
also bain for him. Is this enough now?" 
"Okay, men!", shouted the leader of the group. "In the next 
days, the good old routine in our village will return for you 
all. We have to resow and to do a lot of other work. Alf can 
help this new man to recover and I want you, to leave him 
alone with this task. By the way, HOK told me, that the 


release operation has been on TV in "Central Europe", 
yesterday evening. We should watch this report, HOK has 
recorded everything!" 

"Yes, have fun with it, I go home now and want to be alone 
for the rest of the day", groaned Alf and left the room. 

Dusk was falling and Frank lay between some unwashed 
pillows. A great burden slowly fell from his soul and his 
mind, which had swollen like a red, throbbing growth. Now 
the pain began to fade away. In the next room he heard a 
rustle, shortly thereafter loud smacking and the sound of 
cutlery on a plate. Some minutes later, his sponsor entered 
the room. „You must eat something! Here!" Alf presented 
him some slices of bread and two fried sausages. 
„Thanks!", said Frank and ate slowly and leisurely. „You 
don't have to worry. Nobody can find us here. We are in 
Lithuania. Far away from Germany and this „One-World" 
cage called "Central Europe". Eat, and then I let you sleep 
again", whispered Alf, trying to calm him down. 
It was a weird situation. If Frank would have seen Alfred 
Baumer in former times on the street, then he would 
probably have gone to the other side. This tall man really 
looked boldly and violent, what he surely was, if it had to be. 
He gave the impression of the typical criminal, who had 
received a life sentence. 

Brawny, with a dark, pointed beard, a tattoo at the neck and 
a keen look. Frank Kohlhaas looked, however, rather 
harmless and even still juvenile at first sight, although his 
body was also sturdy. He had a dear face with a button 
nose and his good-natured smile was characteristic. Mostly 
Frank was kind and peaceful. 

But in the production complex 42-B, he had lost control over 
his feelings and this time had been one time to often. His life 
had almost been destroyed by the consequences of this 


incident. Compared with Alf, whose face always showed 
latent rage and frustration, Frank's countenance could 
change, in a case of extreme excitement, from good- 
natured to psychopathic. If Frank was really furious, his 
green eyes started to gaze into space and he threateningly 
perked his dark, broad eyebrows up. Then he looked like a 
fanatical preacher, somehow mentally absent, with an 
indestructible will and ready for everything. 
Only a few people had ever faced this sight so far, but 
Frank's angry outbreaks had increased in the last years - 
slowly and constantly. 

Now, however, the former citizen 1-564398B-278843 was 
just glad to be with Alfred Baumer. Although it was a man, 
he didn't know at all, but who seemed to be a trustable 

Despite Alfs aggressive appearance, a honest core 
seemed to be under his hard shell. A feeling of hope 
sprouted in the heart of the young man. He clung to Alfs 
broad shoulder and murmured quietly: „Thanks, man! 
Thanks that you have liberated me! You have saved my 

Some minutes he mutely cried in Alfs arms. Then Baumer 
pushed him back gently. „lf s okay. You are welcome here!", 
said Alf, who was simply overwhelmed with so much 

"The others have freed me from this damn prison too. "Big 
Eye" would have been my doom as well. They put me two 
years in incommunicado detention, luckily, I had not the 
pleasure to get a so called "therapy" in a holo cell. 
I would have gone to hell there, no doubt. Apart from this, 
they don't let you just go, when your time in jail is over. One 
or two are also liquidated, if their behavior analysis is too 
negative. These damn holo cells have once been an 
experiment for perfect conditioning and brainwashing. The 


former "Mind Control", which the NSA, when it still had this 
name, had developed together with many other methods", 
declared Alf. "These holo cells will be used against all 
prisoners with politically incorrect tendencies one day. You 
have been one of the first human guinea pigs. It has just 
been interesting from them to analyze, how long you would 
suffer this torture. Of course, they knew that you would not 
survive this procedure!" 

"Fuck these rats!", said Frank and tried to banish the 
thoughts about the terrible time in the holo cell. 
"The entire political and historical background can't be 
explained in two sentences, above all, if you have never 
thought about it before", ended Alf his small speech. 
Frank signaled by turning around and pulling the cover over 
his head, that he wanted to sleep now. It was 21.16 o'clock 
and the young man was still exhausted and weak. He dozed 
for a while and examined the shabby, dark red wallpaper, 
then he fell in a deep and restful sleep. 

On the next morning, Frank Kohlhaas felt unusually 
recovered. He had slept over 13 hours and for the first time 
since months, he had not awoken with a start in the middle 
of the night. He yawned and noticed that Alf had put some 
fresh dresses beside his bed. 

Kohlhaas still wore his white prison clothes, which smelled 
of sweat and were still covered with dark red traces of the 
policeman's blood. 

Frank plodded out of his room and noticed that it was very 
quiet in the house. Nobody sat in the kitchen, so that he 
could look around without ruffle or excitement. Everything 
looked very poor. Dirty dishes were piled up in a rusty sink 
and in the corner of the room, an ugly mold spot was on the 
wall. Indeed, Alf lived in a hovel - if it was his house at all. 
However, his housemate seemed not to be here. The young 


man walked over some old wood stairs to the upper floor, 
where he found only a few empty and poorly furnished 
rooms. One of them was full of cardboards and wooden 
boxes, almost up to the ceiling. But Alf Baumer was 
nowhere to be found. 

„Where am I here at all?", thought Frank and scratched his 

Since the escape from "Big Eye", he hadn't been in the 
condition to think about these strange men, who had 
rescued him. Who were they? 

He opened the entrance door of the house and stepped 
outside, left it open a bit, so that he could come back again, 
because he had no key for the ramshackle door. When he 
looked down the street, in which Alf s house was, Kohlhaas 
saw a lot of further hovels on each side. Some of the 
houses seemed to be empty, others had weathered fronts 
and in the gardens, a sprouting, uncontrolled growth was 
spreading everywhere. 

Some of the windows had been nailed up with rotted 
boards, probably long ago. One house had even a 
collapsed roof. In addition, here and there, one of the 
houses had been renovated again and Frank heard the 
voices of children out of a side street. He could even 
understand their language, it was German. 
Nevertheless, the sun shone on all the roofs, whether 
desolate or repaired again. But many people didn't seem to 
live in this rundown village. Finally, Frank saw two men, who 
unloaded crates out of a delivery van. A tractor rattled 
somewhere in the distance and a mature woman leaned out 
of the window in the house opposite to him. 

Frank walked down the road and came to a square, which 
probably must had been the center of the small village in 
former times. Weed sprouted out of the cracks between the 


cobblestones, which covered the whole place. Here, in the 
center of this ghost town, Frank could see three old houses 
with big shopwindows. Two of the large windows were 
broken and the buildings looked dilapidated. The 
shopwindow of the other house was completely plastered 
with yellow cellotape. In the center of the square was a 
memorial stone, completely overgrown with all sorts of 
grass and bushes. It was surrounded by a wooden fence. 
Kohlhaas could hardly recognize the memorial stone and, 
apart from this, the inscription on it was in Cyrillic, so that 
the man from "Central Europe" could not read anything. 
On the stone, a soldier with a helmet and a rifle was shown. 
Nevertheless, Frank had already seen this helmet from the 
old time in a history book. Furthermore, he was able to 
decipher the years, which had been engraved on the 
memorial stone: 1941 and 1989. 

The young man continued his walk and regarded a 
moldered church, which stood next to the village square. Its 
roof was damaged and had enormous holes, bricks covered 
with moss and lichens lay in front of the rotten, wooden front 
door, that was adorned with a hardly recognizable picture. 
On the tower was a rusted cross of iron. The winged thing 
on the door of the church, which was completely overgrown 
with lichens, was probably an angel, that had symbolically 
welcomed the people at the entrance of the church in the 
old times. 

But in a world, that had been left alone by God, perhaps 
even this angel had lost his "job" one day. Frank pushed the 
large wood door to the side and climbed over a pile of 
planks, in order to reach the inner part of the old church. 
Dried out leaves, dirt and dust were everywhere on the 
ground in front of him. The benches of the old building were 
dirty and everything made the impression of being lost. The 
altar was also damaged and had small tears and cracks, 


probably because of the cold of a hard winter. The visitor 

finally turned his head towards the ceiling and examined the 

wooden frescos on the walls, which also showed traces of 

decomposition. Frank beheld some angels, that were 

fighting against strange looking demons or something like 

that - creatures from hell. Other frescos depicted mother 

Maria and Jesus Christ. 

"The superstar of Christianity...", said Frank to himself and 

smiled cynically. This church appeared old and somehow 

also sublime. The chapel had possibly been built in the late 

Middle Age, but Frank did not know it for sure. He knew 

nothing about history. 

But the young man didn't care about the age of this church. 

Only one thing was true - the building touched his inner 

self, although, he never had believed in anything. 

Maybe just because it was beautiful and old. In his previous 

world, he had never beholden an old building. Gray 

plattenbauten, dirty streets, underpasses and factories were 

nothing new to him, but he had never looked at old 

churches or castles. This house of God was just like a 

memorial of a forgotten time. A time far beyond this dark 


The church had probably been the heart of this village for 

many decades or even centuries. At this place, the people 

had prayed to a higher power, begging it to take care of 

them. But in the end, it all had come differently. In the year 

2028, mankind was alone, and Frank had never noticed a 

higher power, that wanted to protect its children. 

„Father, if you exist at all, why have you left us?", said Frank 

quietly to himself and looked at the fragile ceiling of the old 

building again. Then he went back to the square. 

He walked through the hopeless village for several hours. 
Again and again, up to the other end and back. Around the 


locality were fields and forests, and only a muddy street 
seemed to connect it with the rest of the world. The young 
man sat down on a bank and looked at the sky, when three 
little children, probably those, who he had already heard 
before in the side street, ran across the road in front of him. 
They briefly examined him and smiled, but Frank didn't take 
heed of them. 

Somewhere a dog barked in a house, which looked 
inhabited. He stood up and passed some vacant, rundown 
houses. This village, the renegate citizen had already 
forgotten its name, was a bleak place, as Kohlhaas thought. 
Nevertheless, he prefered this village to the rotten, former 
FRG capital Berlin, his old home. He wouldn't miss the 
criminality, the cultural and racial tensions and all the decay, 
that was typical for the shabby metropolis, where he had 
grown up. Now he was here. In this strange hicktown... 
„lvas!" Now Frank remembered the name of the village. Alf 
had said it several times. Ivas, somewhere in Lithuania. But 
what was this for a strange village? Frank Kohlhaas was 

Meanwhile, he was tired and his shoes were completely 
covered with mud. He finally decided to return to Alfs 
house, because the front door was still open, although it 
was improbable, that the other villagers would steal from 
them. It was not like in Berlin. Soon the day came to an end. 
Frank didn't know yet, where he was here. 

„ln three days we must leave this house, Frank! I must leave 

it too, because it is doesn't belong to me", explained 

Baumer after a meager lunch. 

„As I already guessed. Whose house is it?" 

„lt belongs to another villager, who is currently in Minsk to 

buy some things", answered Baumer. „Wilden has said, that 

we can live here for a few days. If the owner comes back 


home, we can surely move to one of the other vacant 

houses in the village." 

„What is that for a odd village?", murmured Frank. 

„Wilden will explain it to you tomorrow. Actually, he already 

wanted to talk to you today, but you were not here. You took 

a little walk, isn't it?", said Alf, whose tiredness meanwhile 

shone in his eyes. 

„Tell me, where are you from, Baumer?", asked Frank 


„Well, I was born in Dortmund and have lived in some other 

cities in the Ruhrgebiet, also in Frankfurt am Main, for four 

years", said Alf and took another tea. 

„Why have they brought you to „Big Eye"?, Frank became 


„My God, you ask a lot. But well, you will have to remain 

here in Ivas, this is hopefully obvious to you, and therefore, I 

will tell you a few things about me." 

Alfred Baumer decided to make another camomile tea and 

went to the boiler. Then he fetched a cigarette and began 

with a small lecture about his life. 

Frank actually didn't want to know all the details, but Alf 

seemed to look forward to a little speech. Now he was 

awake again. 

J had troubles with the authorities since my 16th year of life. 

I was active in various political groups, which you don't 

know, as I think. Anyhow, they are all forbidden since many 


I have already been in jail for one year in 2013 - when the 

political system of the FRG still existed. They have punished 

me for so called "opinion crimes" - because I have designed 

a few Internet sites, which were uncomfortable for the state. 

At that time, I was just 19 years old. My parents have lost 

their jobs during the great world economic crisis in 2012/13, 

and have jettisoned me after my term of imprisonment. I 


have never returned back home again. Afterwards, I have 

lived with some friends, in various housing groups, and of 

course also alone. After six years, in 2020, I have joined the 

Red Moon groups, always trying to live inconspicuously. 

Nevertheless, it has gone wrong." 

„The Red Moon groups?" Frank looked surprised. „They 

were terrorists, isn't it? These guys have burned a hospital 

in Berlin, right?" 

..That's nonsense! Lies!", grumbled Alf and gave Frank an 

annoyed glance. 

„l'm sorry. They have said it on television at that time", 

remarked Frank and tried to calm down his comrade. 

„On television. ..on television...! Nevertheless, fucking 

television is even the biggest lie of that world system, man! 

Didn't you understand this yet?", grunted Baumer and felt 

accused wrongly. 

„No offense meant!", apologized Kohlhaas. 

„No, it is a lie, Frank. The Red Moon groups publicy 

protested against the World Government and united 

thousands of young people in their fight. Opponents of 

globalization, free philosophers, patriots and others. After 

that damn hospital hoax, which the media exaggerated with 

all their might, we were criminalized. It had been the work of 

the GSA, the international secret service, there is no doubt 

for me. It has not been activists of our group! However, the 

following crusade of the international media, broke the neck 

of the Red Moon organization. Tell me, why should a group 

of freedom fighters burn innocent people in a hospital?", 

asked Alf with visible rage. 

„Do you see the tattoo on my neck? This is the „Red Moon", 

the blood-red moon of the fight for liberty - our old symbol!" 

„l don't know enough about all this and I don't care...", said 

Frank. „l only know, that I hate that goddam World 


Government, that terrible system - from the bottom of my 


„Then Ivas is the right place for you, my friend!", said Alf and 

stared at his tea cup, clenching his fist. 

„And then?", asked Frank. 

„Then? Then I was still active. After the Red Moon groups 

were forbidden worldwide, we continued our struggle in the 

underground. Finally, I was arrested during an illegal, 

spontaneous demonstration, which I have organized with 

some of my comrades. I had to go to jail again. 

My time in „Big Eye" began and I can be glad, that they did 

not find other loading material during the house search at 

that time, otherwise I would have been liquidated." 

„What material?", questioned Kohlhaas. Alfred Baumer 

looked at him and shook his head. 

„You ask very much for a man, who still was flat on his face 

a few hours ago. Never mind! That would have made me 

more than just some problems, believe me. So I was 

sentenced to nine years of detention, only because of the 

spontaneous demonstration. I would have never endured 

that. In my time as an activist of the Red Moon groups, I 

became also aquainted with some of these weird guys from 

here. They have already told me years ago, that I should 

escape from the sector "Central Europe", to come with them 

to Lithuania. 

Nevertheless, I was not willing to give up the fight in my 

homeland, because it was my aim, to liberate it from this 

global insanity. Today I say to myself, that it was just stupid 

to wait for so long. It would have been wiser to leave 

"Central Europe" in time, because the great enemy is much 

too strong in the West." 

„Well, now you are here. And me too. The best thing that 

could happen to us, Baumer. This fucked up sector "Central 


Europe" shall go to hell, it shall rot forever!", hissed Frank 
and wiped off some tea drops from his lip. 
"We must not let our compatriots go to the hell! It is our 
country! No, we are not on vacation here! We just relocate 
our fight. We will only surrender, when the maggots corrode 
us in our graves!", answered Alfred and put his foot down. 
Frank was astonished and observed his partner, who 
snatched the teapot with a loud curse. "We are not on 
vacation here!" 

Frank was surprised about this statement, his housemate 
had shouted out with so much passion. What did Alf mean 
by that? 

Again, Frank Kohlhaas slept well and firmly. He had 

amazingly regenerated himself, in this short time. 

Sometimes he even felt euphoric. 

„l am not even afraid of the devil!", he thought then and 

smiled proudly. 

But it was not that simple. The aftereffects of the holo cell 

were far more malicious, than he could imagine and they 

were still there, deep in the dark corners of his brain. They 

just lay in wait and planned to erupt, in order to strangle 

Frank's peace of mind, while he was sleeping. 

Like the mourning, after the death of a beloved person, 

usually comes in waves, it was the same with the mental 

horror, the holo cell had unleashed in Frank's mind. 

The dread had only entrenched itself and waited now, in its 

fortified position, for the signal to attack Frank again. No, the 

fright wasn't gone. But in these first days of his new 

freedom, Kohlhaas had a peaceful time - so far. 

The rain pattered on the corrugated iron roof of the small 
shed in front of Frank's window, and the untiring noise 
made him wake up. It was already after ten o'clock on this 


wet morning and the young man rolled from one end of the 

bed to the other. Suddenly Alf entered the room and said: 

„Good morning, Frank! Please get up! Wilden is here and he 

would like to talk to you!" 

The village boss already sat in the kitchen and sipped his 

coffee. He welcomed Frank friendly and told him to follow 

him to his house after the breakfest. Somehow, the situation 

was unpleasant for Frank, but he tried to avoid problems 

and obeyed. 

„We must talk about some things, Kohlhaas!", remarked the 

leader of the village community, who wore a long gray coat 

and a hat with a narrow brim. 

The rain had softened the muddy roads of the village, and 

Frank waded behind the somehow authoritarian and 

impressive Mr. Wilden through the dirt. After a short foot 

march, they finally came to an amazingly well renovated 

house, which was even surrounded by a beautiful garden. 

„We go upstairs!", said Wilden. 

The former entrepreneur sat down behind an adorned desk 

of dark wood and remained silent for some minutes. Frank 

took a seat on a soft armchair of black imitation leather, 

which smelled cleaned. He looked around. The room 

seemed to be an office and was in a perfect condition. 

Everywhere he could see pictures on the wall with the light 

brown wallpaper: battle paintings, framed photos of some 

great men from the old times and a lot of other things. 

„Well, Frank Kohlhaas. Do you like our village?", asked the 

gray-haired man, smiled and tried to take the uncertainty 

from his young guest. 

„Nice!", was Frank's short answer. 

„Nice!", repeated Wilden soberly. J want to make it short, 

and I will not talk around the bush", said the village boss 

and looked out the window. 


Then he continued: „This village is called Ivas. It is in the 

area of the former state of Lithuania, in the southwest part 

of this actually beautiful country. It is small and insignificant. 

A small village, that has been abandoned by its former 

inhabitants under the pressure of the worldwide economic 

collapse some years ago. A ghost town, as you may know 

them from North America. 

"Aha...", said Frank. 

„This village is so small and so unimportant, that even the 

sharpest eye must look twice to see it", explained Wilden. 

..Therefore, I am safe here!", joked Frank. 

..Well, security is relative. Particularly in our time, Mr. 

Kohlhaas. Above all, nowadays!", said the host quietly. 

„But here...", remarked Frank. 

„As I already said, Frank Kohlhaas", interrupted him Wilden. 

..Today it is a benediction to be safe. You are here in Ivas, 

an insignificant village, in an also not excessively important 

country in Eastern Europe. This village is so unimportant 

that even the big eye, the eye, which can see the whole 

world and always wants to see more, did not notice it yet. 

Do you know, what this village really is, Frank?" 

„No! Just tell it to me!", Frank reacted nervously. 

..Then I want to explain it to you exactly. Where you are 

here, and with whom you are here!", answered the man with 

a serious look. ..This is no usual village in the contemplative 

Lithuania and we are no holiday community. We are rebels, 

who fight against the World Government. Ivas is one of our 

bases. Some of our men live here, with their families or 


A few of these ramshackle houses, I had acquired for 

relatively small sums from the former Lithuanian state in the 

period of its dissolution. Finally, my fellows and me settled 

in this abandoned village. Some more men will still come 


and we will establish our position here. But there is one 

important rule: Everybody has to be quiet!" 

Frank wondered. ..Rebels against the World Government?", 

he thought and beheld Wilden with surprise. 

„l think, I know, what you mean!", he said then. 

„You came to Ivas and you will stay here. We can't let you 

go, because you already know too much and this is a safety 

risk. Even if you tell just one single word about us and this 

village, we must kill you! I say it to you not as your foe. This 

is the situation, in which you are, Frank Kohlhaas!", spoke 

Wilden and nodded. „And believe me, we will not hesitate, 

to wack you immediately, if you endanger our group!", he 

said with a cold voice. 

„l understand!", Frank was more than confused. 

"But I don't want to threaten or frighten you, my friend. You 

had suffered enough and I wish you a good recovering here. 

Furthermore, I don't want to force you to join us. Just trust 

Alf, he is a man with a pure heart and could even become a 

good friend to you. Moreover, he bailes for you and told me, 

that you are a nice person", said Wilden and smiled again. 

„l want to rest, as a start, and then I will take a look at your 

organization. And believe me, I'm really grateful, because 

you saved my life. Don't worry, I would never betray you. I 

give you my oath", said Kohlhaas to the older gentleman 

and sounded resolute. 

..Trust me, Frank. You are here now, and you will find your 

peace of mind among us. And on the other hand, there is no 

turning back for you anymore. If they would ever catch you, 

you would be liquidated immediately. 

You are registered as a terrorist and a murderer, in all 

worldwide databases of any administration and authority, 

and a so called "normal life" is an illusion now. Whereby, 

however, it becomes clear at a closer look that we are the 

only ones who live a "normal life", because we are free men 


and no slaves of this global system, born of terror and 

oppression", explained Wilden with a more gently becoming 


„l wanted to thank you again...", whispered Frank quietly. 

"No problem, my young friend! I am glad about the fact, that 

Alf and the others didn't let you die", answered Wilden with 

a paternal countenance. 

The talk with the founder of this base took a long time and 

Wilden became more and more kindlier. It seemed, that the 

older gentleman, who had appeared so cold at first sight, 

would have a fancy for Frank. 

Since 2013, when the great crisis had shaken the entire 

globe and had driven millions of people into poverty, 

destroying innumerable existences and finally even leading 

to famines, this village had been left by its former 


The collapse of the economy in Lithuania had caused a 

mass exodus of young people, who had been driven by the 

illusion, to be able to find jobs in the countries of Western 


Villages like Ivas, which had lived on retail trade and 

agriculture to a large extent, had just collapsed, and their 

inhabitants had moved into the larger cities of the country or 

to the West. 

A ghost town had finally remained and meanwhile the rural 

areas of Eastern Europe were full of abandoned villages. 

Thorsten Wilden, the former entrepreneur from Westphalia, 

had decided in 2018, when the shadows of a global 

dictatorship had come over the former FRG, to leave his 

homeland and to acquire houses in Ivas with his last money. 

Wilden had already been registered as a political dissident 

in the databases of the secret service, even at the time of 

the FRG. He had too often been noticeable. When the 


entrepreneur had stood for a political incorrect party against 

the FRG system in 2012, the media had tried to 

economically ruin him with a big campaign. The German 

had already thought about emigration in these days. But he 

had still persevered for a while, although the media had 

called up to boycott his company and his family had been 

threatened by incited fanatics. And the situation had 

continued to become worse. During the great world 

economic crisis, the entrepreneur had lost the biggest part 

of his fortune and had become a target for the political 

police of the FRG. 

Thereupon, Western and Central Europe had been shaken 

by a breakdown of the social system and racial and religious 

conflicts. Europe had finally been close to civil war. 

In the year 2018, Germany had been taken over by the 

World Government, while Wilden had escaped to Lithuania 

with his family. 

He had offered the rest of his savings and had bought some 

of the empty houses and also a few properties in Ivas, for 

relatively small sums from the collapsing Lithuanian state. 

The dying national state, which had been driven into 

complete bankruptcy by the crisis, had been glad about 

each cent that a foreign investor had given. 

In the years 2018 to 2020, the World Government had been 

established. The new rulers had promised the masses to 

master the great crisis, and had moreover seized the 

opportunity, to abolish the old states of Europe. 

Then a massive wave of liquidations of political incorrect 

persons had followed. Who had been located as a 

suspicious person, had been arrested or killed by the 

ruthless oppressors. 

Shortly afterwards, the Lodge Brothers had founded the 

international secret service, the GSA, to eliminate political 

opponents. Campaigns of mass arrests, mass liquidations, 


brainwashing, terror and intimidation had been the order of 
the day in this years. Finally, the face of Europe had been 
crushed to a bloody pulp. Only in the USA, the GSA had still 
raged more effectively and had executed even larger parts 
of the population as in Europe. 

In this time of terror, Wilden had already escaped to Eastern 
Europe and had overcome the first onslaught with his family 
unharmedly. However, many of his political fellows of that 
time had disappeared in prisons or mass graves. 
Nevertheless, the terror had reached the countries of 
Eastern Europe too, but the preparatory work for a perfect 
surveillance state had only been made half-heartedly and 
languidly here. Moreover, the registration of the whole 
population wasn't as extensive as in the West yet. So the 
strike of the World Government against the nations of the 
world, had lost a lot of its power in Lithuania. 
Apart from this, Russia and the other states of Eastern 
Europe had become members of the world system in the 
year 2020, two years after the official takeover of the new 
rulrs. Here, some air for breathing had still remained. But 
the Lodge Brothers were willing to make up leeway, in the 
countries outside of North America and Western Europe. 

After these difficult facts and explanations, Frank had never 
thought about before, he was impressed by Wilden's talent 
to elucidate things. Altogether, he was fascinated by him. 
Communities of men like Ivas, had some more time to live in 
peace, but the officials even pressurized the sector "Eastern 
Europe" more and more, to create a modern system of total 
control. So also in Ivas, strictest secrecy was increasingly 
necessary to survive, and Wilden's village had ever more 
problems to keep up the image of an unimportant village, 
inhabited by some farmers. HOK or Holger K., who didn't 
betray his surname to anyone, except for Thorsten Wilden, 


was one of the most important men in Ivas. The former 
computer scientist was a master in tampering scanchips 
and to rewrite registration datas of vehicles and airplanes in 
a way, that they were inconspicuous. After four hours, Frank 
Kohlhaas finally left the house of Thorsten Wilden. This new 
world really impressed him and for a man like Frank, a 
return to his old life was impossible at this point. 

When the young man came into HOK's study two days 

later, he was welcomed by a thick, burly man. The 

information scientist sat in front of a big, wireless computer, 

surrounded by a lot of crates and cardboards, which were 

repleted with all kinds of things. He looked like the typical 

computer genius and reminded Frank of a comic figure. 

HOK smiled and examined Kohlhaas from top to bottom. 

Meanwhile, he scratched his head and gabbled something. 

„You need a new Scanchip? You will get a new Scanchip! 

He, he!", said the weird computer scientist and typed on his 


„Oh! I am HOK! Specialist for electronic questions and other 

problems in this beautiful village!" 

„Hello!", said Kohlhaas. 

„Oh, how good that nobody knows, how uncle HOK is really 

called. A little joke, I always like to tell", returned HOK and 

hastily waved his lower arms. „And soon, also nobody will 

know your name anymore!" 

J will always be Frank Kohlhaas!", answered the young man 

and grinned. 

„Sure! And I will be always HOK, even if I am sometimes 

Mike Weber or Enrico Althaus", said Holger K. with a 

philosophical undertone. 

„However, you will get a new Scanchip now, because 

otherwise you are just fucked up in this world." 


HOK let the keys rattle and worked for the next minutes as 

under hypnosis in front of his computer screen. He visited 

various servers and data bases and explained, that it could 

last a while. Anyway, he had to generate a large number of 

new access codes and this was a lot of work. His virtual 

attacks on the secret servers of administrative districts and 

registration banks had remained unnoticed so far, and could 

not be retraced. The coding and safety precautions, which 

HOK used, were impressing and reflected the quite entitled 

paranoia in his head. 

„This computer officially stands, from its source code, in 

Patah Keadan in Malaysia. Sometimes I also attack from 

Siberia, northern China or Angola. This is always very 

funny!", gaggled the cyberfreak and smiled proudly. 

J believe you, man. But I know nothing about computers!", 

groaned Frank . 

„Code here and code there..." 

"No, does not fit..." 

"Shit! Why not?" 

"Ah.. .Okay!" 

"Well, there we have been landed..." 

"He, he, he..." 


And: Go!" 

"Starting from the data..." 




"Mist! Elender Mist!" 

HOK murmured and continued to swim through a sea of 

datas and facts in the international cyberspace. He vacantly 

stared at the screen and Frank was just silent. Then 

Kohlhaas finally sat down on a damaged office chair, which 

probably had already suffered under HOK's weight. 


The operation lasted almost three hours. In the meantime, 
Frank had gone out of the house, to take a little walk 
through the village. When he returned, the passionate cyber 
fanatic expected him. HOK grinned from ear to ear. Then he 
theatrically made a curtsey in front of his new client: 
..Welcome citizen 08-71 1369Y-1 91 947, in our wonderful 
„One-World"! I may call you, nevertheless, here among us 
and completely unofficially, Maximilian Eberharter, okay?" 
..Sounds amusing, but good...", returned Frank. 
..Your Scanchip account has also been topped up again. 
Congratulations!" HOK seemed to be very happy. He had 
done his work like a pro. 

Referring to the general defaults for citizen registrations, 
Frank Kohlhaas was now announced as the proud owner of 
the citizen number 08-71 1369Y-1 91 947, living in Graz and 
working as an underground construction engineer. His wage 
was not bad too. Over 1300 Globes per month, he had 
never earned that much. 

Who this Maximilian Eberharter really was, Frank did not 
know and he did not ask. Perhaps the citizen number 08- 
711369Y-191947 had been discarded, because the owner 
had died. Perhaps, it was also just invented, rewritten or 
something else. HOK surely knew, what he did. 
Indeed, the computer scientist with the weird behavior and 
the emotional fluctuations, was just irreplaceable in Ivas. He 
procured official registrations for the inhabitants and topped 
up their Scanchip accounts, gave them "jobs" and secured 
their income - at least, as a computer file. This man was 
ingenious. No question! 

Additionally, the village community also subsisted on an 
own agriculture and various illegal exchanges and 
commercial transactions. It functioned better, than the new 
born citizen could ever imagine. 


Nevertheless, Ivas was a dangerous place. And only, if all 
inhabitants kept their mouths shut and never boasted, an 
inconspicuous life was possible. Regarded from the outside, 
this village just appeared inconspicuously and its citizens 
were even good taxpayers, who were not noticeable to the 
tax authority of the sub-sector "Belarus-Baltic". 
From this point of view, they all were in a favorable 
situation. It would probably just become unpleasant, if an 
official would ever examine this place more exactly. But 
since the financial situation in the sub-sector was 
catastrophic and the region was in a permanent state of 
worst poverty, it was improbable, that authorities, which 
hadn't enough employees, because of staff savings, would 
ever send someone to an unimportant village like Ivas. The 
lethargic officials were just content, if the taxes were paid 

This mentality of indifference, which was far common in 
Eastern Europe, increasingly annoyed the powerful 
gentlemen of the World Goverment. Nevertheless, in former 
Lithuania still existed an administration, but this was not 
self-evident in other regions of the world. 
In Africa, the World Government had never tried to 
introduce a complete monitoring of the population at all, 
what was much too difficult. But from the position of the 
Lodge Brothers, this was not necessary on this continent. 
The African countries were politically insignificant and it was 
only sufficient, to recruit parts of the population as cheap 
peons for the big concerns. Furthermore, the World 
Goverment held the whole continent in an iron grip of 
dependence by indebtedness. Occupation troops enforced 
the rough adherence of the instructions from above. This 
was enough. Otherwise, the World Government only 
occasionally intervened, in order to decimate the population. 
Hunger blockades and even epidemics, made in 


laboratories, ensured, that the population could not grow too 
much. Other countries, for example in Eastern Asia, were 
also controlled from the outside. The new rulers simply used 
the weapons of financial dependence, the military threat or 
economic sanctions. 

In these regions, including India and China, the Scanchip 
had been introduced as replacement for credit and identity 
card a few years ago, but the number of people in these 
countries was just too big for a close monitoring. 
Together with the downfall of formerly high technicalised 
Europe, the infrastructure in these regions slowly moldered. 
Nevertheless, the World Government also wanted to accept 
this challenge. Much still had to be done. At first, the 1.9 
billion Chinese and 1.5 billion Indians had to be decimated, 
that further political steps could follow. 
The appropriate plans for this cruel process, were already in 
the drawers of the think-tanks of the New World Order. They 
worked on it. 

In the last decades, the nations of Europe, once highly 
developed and sophisticated, above all Germany, England, 
France and Russia, had successfully been destroyed by a 
creeping procedure of decomposition by the predecessors 
of the now ruling forces. Finally, they had brought the 
Europeans to their knees. Knowing about their 
inventiveness and their ability to create high civilizations, 
they had purposefully selected the Old World as their 
primary target. And soon they had taken control of the Great 
Powers of the old age. 

And it had been the same with the North American 
continent. These regions had to be taken at first, even if it 
wasn't always easy to conquer them. But the hidden power 
behind the curtains of world policy, had acted intelligently, 
cleverly, shrewdly. There was no doubt, if one analyzed the 


past. In the old age, the Europeans had been proud and 
strong, and had patronized values like freedom or 
independence. Therefore, they had to be slowly poisoned, 
as you never attack a powerful lion directly, but put it to 
sleep or sicken it first. 

It would last a long time, to describe all the procedures, 
which had made the world to the sad place that it was 
today. But it was nevertheless a cruel fact, that these once 
great old countries were in just one hand today - without 
exception. The European nations crumbled, decomposed 
and were close to total extinction. 

Foreign people were brought to these lands, and soon all 
the big centers of European civilization were a puzzle of 
different races, cultures and religions. The international 
yoke of modern slavery and the imperative to consume, 
preached by all the media of the global system, was the 
only thing, which connected them. And this had always 
been the plan. 

So the danger was avoided, that united fronts could be 
formed one day against the world dictatorship, because the 
interests and purposes in life of the numerous nation 
particles and cultural fragments were too different. It had 
worked well, the hidden forces had infiltrated the Old World 
like a virus. 

The plan had been successful and the Lodge Brothers had 
laid the foundation, for what the Elders of the New World 
Order had already prophesied long ago: The "Multicolor- 
Man". A so called "united" human, without clearly defined 
origins, torn inside his soul and groundless. 
"Will will create the Eurasian-Negroid future-race!", was the 
slogan of this new policy. So the powerful gentlemen 
worked on a creature without an own culture, without a 
higher intelligence and without an identity - the natural born 


World Peace in Ivas? 

„Not this Ronald Miller shit again!", groaned Alf on the next 
morning, as he sat in front of his laptop and watched the 
news from all over the world. On an Internet site, which was 
officially marked with a blocking note and should actually 
not be accessible for "good normal citizens", he saw the 
commemoration ceremony of a soldier of the international 
GCF troops in New York, kidnapped and shot by Iranian 

The video had already been shown by the official television 
stations, but the forbidden Internet site complemented it with 
some background informations and let its content appear 
differently, from what the media of the system wished. 
The World President squeezed out some crocodile tears in 
front of the cameras, which rolled along his beaked nose. 
Then he thanked the not anymore "unknown soldier" for his 
fight against terrorism, for human rights and world peace. 
The television report showed Ronald Millers crying widow, 
his newborn baby and his daughter in the kindergarten. The 
report about his sweet little children lasted a whole hour. 
The daughter told, that she liked to paint pictures with her 
wax mark pins, loved her hamster and finally cried for her 
dead father - in close up. 

The World President visited her in the kindergarten, tried to 
look affected and explained to the kindergartner, how 
important it was, to go on with the war against Islamic 
fanatics and renegade tendencies in all regions of the world. 
„Those fucking media rats should mention, that the World 
Goverment has nuked Teheran nine years ago!", screamed 
Alf furiously and banged on the table. "So they could also 
make some good video reports about crying children there!" 


He turned around to Frank. „At that time, over one million 

people, women and children, were burned to ashes. The 

GCF just wiped them out, in order to make an example!" 

„l know... ", answered Kohlhaas. 

„Oh, shit! I just hate the fucking media! I would execute 

them all, if I had the chance!", he spat out. 

„lfs the usual propaganda", said Frank and went into the 

kitchen. „Calm down, Alf! Don't risk a heart attack..." 

Baumer still grumbled for a while and finally followed Frank. 

He stood before his fellow and raised the forefinger. 

„Today John comes back from Minsk", he said. „We must 

talk to Wilden, so that he tells us, where we can live here in 

the near future." 

..Living together with you? Then I will give you the 

prohibition to watch TV!", answered Frank with a smile. 

..Don't make me angry, little boy!", hissed Baumer, grinned 

villainously and made some boxing movements toward his 


The discussion with the leader of the group was short and 

factual. Wilden told them that they could move into another 

vacant house at the further end of Ivas. It was an incredible 

hovel, but at least, it had an old wood fired oven and the two 

men could even get some electricity for the barrack. 

When Frank and Alf returned to their provisional home, they 

met a probably 45 years old man in a cord sweater, 

unloading some crates from a shabby, white combi-van. 

With him was a beautiful young woman with long fair hair, 

which she had tied up to a queue. John and the woman 

welcomed them. 

„Oh, who are you? Allow me, I'm John Thorphy!", he 

introduced himself. 

..Julia Wilden!", added the blonde and smiled. 


„Alfred Baumer, we don't know each other yet", answered 


„Eh... Frank Kohlhaas!", said the young man. 

John Thorphy had a strong English accent, which, however, 

clarified the question of his origin only superficially. 

„We lived in your house. Thank you again. We have been 

freed, straight from prison", explained Alfred. 

„No problem!", replied John and continued to unload his car. 

„rm sure that my father has organized everything correctly", 

said Julia and examined Frank with an inquiring look. 

„And how was it...?" Frank tried to begin a conversation. 

„How was what?", asked the young woman and stroked with 

her fingers through the blonde hair. Then she beheld 

Kohlhaas again. 

"Where you have been... I mean. ..your trip...?" 

"Nice!", returned Julia. 

„The man is... eh... John. Englishman?", asked Frank. 

„No, and he does not like Englishmen!", he heard from Julia. 

John is an Irishman. Don't talk with him about England or 

even Englishmen..." 

"It was just a question", said Frank and looked unconfidently 

at the young beauty. 

"Okay, all questions have been answered. Now you can 

help us to unload the van", said Fraulein Wilden and kept a 

straight face. 

„No problem!", answered Baumer and waved Frank nearer. 

In the following weeks, Frank and Alf had a lot of work to do. 
Necessary renovations in their new home waited for them, 
and furthermore, Wilden gave them some more tasks, in the 
name of the community. Kohlhaas became acquainted with 
some of the other villagers and thought that most of them 
could stand him - more or less. However, a few still faced 
him with distrust and avoided to talk to the young man. 


Nevertheless, the fact that he had been in a holo cell, 

caused a mixture of compassion and respect in many of the 


Julia Wilden mostly just ignored him and didn't seem to 

seek his proximity. He rarely saw her, even when he 

unusually often walked past Mr. Wilden's house, although it 

was located in a side road. 

„She looks good, but she is „Misses Important", the 

daughter of the great boss...", thought Frank sometimes. 

"She thinks that she is better than the rest here and she 

obviously doesn't trust me very much." 

Frank was right. Julia Wilden and also the young Sven 

belonged to those villagers, who avoided the contact with 


But Kohlhaas tried to understand the behavior of these 

people. They didn't knew him and he had only come to this 

strange place, because of luck and coincidence. What 

should he expect now? 

Prison or even liquidation would wait for them all, if he 

would prove himself as a blabber or a safety risk. So the 

fear of the unknown man wasn't unjustified. But Alfred 

Baumer and Thorsten Wilden seemed to like him. The 

village boss took every opportunity, to explain to him any 

political and historical facts. He started with world history, 

from the ancient cultures of the Indogermanics, over 

Alexander the Great, up to the present. Sometimes, 

however, even everything at the same time. 

„They could have used Wilden for the reeducation hours in 

the holo cell, apart from the fact, that he preaches the 

converse theses. Nevertheless, he talks even more than 

that computer!", said Frank to Alf once. 

Baumer admired the former entrepreneur, because of his 

universal knowledge about politics and history, but this time, 

he had to laugh about Frank's statement. So the days, 


weeks and months passed in monotonousness. Often some 
of the villagers disappeared for a while. Occasionally, even 
one of the three small transport aircrafts left its hideout, in 
order to fly somewhere and to come back again a few days 

The airplanes were always hidden under camouflage nets 
or in large, old barns. Although it was not illegal to own 
them, since they had been duly registered, caution was the 
first rule in Ivas. 

In the meantime, Frank and Alf were working hard, in order 
to make their house more habitable. Wallpapers were 
procured over many detours, because there were no more 
shops in the periphery of many kilometers, which got such 
articles. At least, the most important rooms could be 

Similar difficulties also appeared with the building materials, 
which had often to be taken from the other vacant houses, 
for example intact bricks to repair the leaky roof. It was a 
long and toilsome work, but the two men became friends 
along the way. 

There was still only a very old wood fired oven in the biggest 
room of the house and both men became a bit nervous, 
when the thought about the coming winter of the year 2028. 
At the end of the month, Frank's sleep disturbances 
suddenly came back. He had scary nightmares, in which the 
cruel light of the holo cell tortured him again, and also Mr. 
Madness returned. 

Sometimes in these dreams, this strange man talked, and 
Frank was surprised that his voice was high and shrill. 
Baumer often woke him up, when he flailed or talked while 
he was sleeping. It was weird. Right now, where peace had 
entered his life, compared to the time in „Big Eye" even the 
idyl, the bad memories came back. Kohlhaas had thought, 
that the pain in his mind was over - but he was wrong... 


One day in August, HOK stood in front of the entrance door 

on an early morning and asked Alf for Frank. Kohlhaas sat 

in the provisionally furnished kitchen and came to the door 

after a few minutes. 

„Good morning, Frank! Please come with me, immediately!", 

said HOK with a sad face. 

..What's up?", asked Frank with an uncomfortable feeling 

deep inside. 

..Hurry up! Just come with me!", answered the computer 

specialist and spreaded a disastrous atmosphere. 

Shortly afterwards, the two men went to HOK's house and 

Frank hardly noticed the warm and bright autumn sun, 

which stroked the little village on this day. HOK ran to his 

untidy office and sat down in front of his computer. 

..Please take a seat, Frank!", hummed HOK. „And try to stay 

calm, with all, I will say to you now!" 

„Tell me, what has happened?", claimed Frank with a 

mixture of impatience and deep concern, because HOK's 

countenance let expect nothing good. 

„l have examined your old Scanchip. I meant no harm by it, 

but it is an order of Wilden, concerning each new person 

that comes into our village. It is a safety precaution. The 

Scanchip is examined for suspicious sub-datas and cross 

references. I penetrated an internal data server and studied 

some not public informations, which are automatically 

collected about every citizen in the sector ..Central Europe" 

by authorities or secret services. These sub-datas contain 

many informations about a citizen's life. Of course, the 

ordinary people don't know anything about their existence. 

Okay, I have the skill to look for all this stuff. Let's see..." 

„Aha...", answered Frank with a complete lack of 


„An usual Scanchip has about 500 internal sub-datas and 

cross references, which can't be read by the owner, 


because they are only for the authorities", explained HOK 


Frank's brain was tormented again with some technical 

terms of the computer language, although HOK tried to 

explain everything understandably for the layman. 

The sub-datas of each Scanchip contain a fulness of 
informations, for example: 

- Behaviour analysis at the workplace 

- State of health, for the further economic utilization 

- Income 

- Consument behaviour statistics 

- Social compatibility 

- Subversive statements at the telephone, on the internet... 

- Family members and relatives 

- Reactions on political propaganda and advertising 

- Religious faith 

- Friends and acquaintances 

- Frequentcy of contacts to friends and acquaintances 

- Sexual behavior 

There are still hundreds of further informations and details, 

but I think you know, what we are talking about", said HOK. 

„And now? What's wrong?", asked Frank quizzically. 

Just wait!", answered HOK. „l have to look for some special 

things. For example, if there is an entry like: JOS" (informer 

of the state) or „ROP" (receiver of official privileges) - what 

would mean, that you are an informer - or you have been it 


„What do you want from me? Tim no informer, man!", 

screamed Frank. 

„You don't have anything to do with such things! Your old 

Scanchip is clean, don't worry!", calmed him HOK. 


„This is not the problem...", he continued. „We must be very 

careful and everybody in Ivas has to endure this process!" 

„Then you want to establish your own little surveillance state 

here, isn't it?", gnarled Frank angrily. 

„No, we do not want that!", replied HOK and seemed to feel 


„l looked at the cross references, concerning your family 

members and your relatives. I'm sorry, this didn't belong to 

my tasks and I must excuse myself for that", murmured 

HOK sheepishly and stared at his keyboard. 

„And then you pretend to fight against the World 

Government! Maybe these guys were also just bored, and 

so they decided one day, to spy out all the other people!", 

grumbled Kohlhaas. 

"I'm sorry! Really!" HOK tried to calm down his angry guest. 

..Unfortunately, I have noticed something terrible on your 

Scanchip: Rainer Kohlhaas is your father, right? And 

Martina Gunther, born Kohlhaas, your sister, isn't it? 

Nico Gunther your nephew. . .? " 

..What's up with them?", asked Frank excitedly. 

„The Scanchips of Rainer Kohlhaas and Martina Gunther 

are shut down. Their citizen numbers will be assigned to 

other people in the near future...", spoke HOK quietly. 

"What?", Frank winced. 

„On the Scanchip of your father, there is an arrest note on 

09.04.2028. At the beginning of June 2028, it has finally 

been shut down. As additive there is a footnote: "ODOA" 

(official deactivation by official arrangement) and further 

„CSO" (citizen switched off). He has been liquidated!", 

explained HOK. 

..What?", cried Frank in pain. 

„lt's the same in the case of your sister. She was first 

arrested, and then liquidated. Your nephew..." HOK was 



„What? What's up with Nico?", gasped Frank with fright in 

his eyes. "Tell me what..." 

„He is registered here as an "orphan in national care". So he 

is still alive!" The computer scientist didn't dare to look in 

Frank's direction. 

But it didn't work. The young man was speechless with 

terror and sank back on the chair. He struggled for air and 

tried to shake off the claws of horror that griped his throat 

and took his breath away. But it was impossible. 

Within a few seconds, he fell into a black hole of despair 

and ran crying out of the house of the computer scientist. All 

the distress and the fear had returned now. They had 

spared him in the last months, to come back in this second 

in their whole, dark size. 

In the next days, Frank hardly left his sleeping room. Alf 
tried to explain to him, that the arresting of relatives or 
family members was used by the system, to lure 
disappeared offenders out of their hideouts, to make them 
ring up at home, while the telehone call was bugged, or to 
make them even visit their old homes. But Frank just told 
him to back off. 

Now the scary nights returned and the mental terror, the 
holo cell had kindled in his mind, crawled around him in the 
darkness, arm in arm in old unity with the new horrors. 
Again, the young man thought about following his parents 
and his sister to the netherworld, he mused about 
terminating his hopeless existence, but Alf stopped him from 
doing such things and cared for Frank as good as he could. 

When September brought the autumn to Ivas, Frank was 
afflicted by a strange dream one night. He could no longer 
completely remember each detail, when he woke up again 


on the next morning with a bad headache, but the most 
pictures remained in his memory. 

He was a spectator in an hall, which looked very similar to a 
court room. In front of him were the judge desk and the 
dock, and only this place was lit by a lamp. The rest of the 
room remained in a hazy twilight, also the seat rows of the 
spectators, on which Frank sat alone. In front of the dock 
were two persons and Frank could not exactly recognize, 
who it was, because he saw only their backs. Behind the 
judge desk was no human being, it was rather a shadow or 
a ghost. 

"The negotiation starts!", called the shade. „Be quiet please! 
Today, we talk about the following criminal case: The 
politics against Mr. Rainer Kohlhaas and Mrs. Martina 
Gunther, born Kohlhaas." 

The two accused turned around and gave Frank a fearful 
look. It were his father and his sister. Now they turned 
around to the judge again, because he began with his 
remarks. The spectator nervously stared at the ghost and 
tried to decipher the name on the plate, which was on the 
desk in front of him. Only after an arduous staring, Frank 
was able to recognize that there was no name. The only 
words on the plate were "The Politics". Now the judge read 
out the charges and began with the interrogation. 
J will start with you, Mr. Rainer Kohlhaas", he said with a 
glowering, deep voice. „Can you remember, that you have 
ever cared about the important facts around me?" 
„Well, I have already been concerned with you, if it had 
something to do with my life", stammered Rainer Kohlhaas. 
„Can you describe that more exactly?", asked the judge. 
„Thus, I watched TV and read the newspapers", Rainer 
Kohlhaas tried to explain. 


„And you, Mrs. Martina Gunther? Did you have ever 

seriously worried about me?", grumbled the shady judge 

with a threatening voice. 

..Perhaps not enough. Only sometimes. I was too busy, 

most of the time. My job was full of stress and so I had other 

things on my mind than thinking about you...", replied 

Frank's sister sheepishly. 

„And it was the same in your case, Mr. Kohlhaas?", 

resented the judge angrily. 

,,1'm sorry, but if Tm honest, I have just worked all my life, 

and have primarily cared about myself. It was a constant 

struggle to survive and to make money. And finally, there 

has been no more time to think about any politics", 

explained Rainer Kohlhaas ruefully. 

„And you really think, that was enough? That you could just 

ignore me in all these years?", hissed the ghost. 

"Please forgive us, Mr. Judge! Today, we know that we 

have made a big mistake! But we still have watched the 

news on television...", Rainer Kohlhaas tried to justify 


"Yes, I did the same!", agreed Martina. 

"And you think, it was sufficient, if others talked about me 

and you just parroted their slogans? Why didn't you think 

about me for yourself?", asked the shadow reproachfully 

and stared at them. 

"Forgive us, Mr. Judge, but we viewed many other things in 

our life as more important, than caring about politics!", 

lamented the two accused, full of sorrow. 

Suddenly Frank appeared at another place in his dream. A 
disgusting stench became noticeable to him at first. It 
crawled over the ground right into his nostrils. He was on a 
great field that extended till the horizon, and only some 
mountains were recognizable, somewhere in the far 


distance. Now he saw, what covered this field. It were 
corpses. Hundreds, thousands, millions. They terribly stank 
and rotted. The grey, dead skin of the bodies was shrunken, 
and larvae, maggots and worms crept out of the mouths and 
eye sockets of the dead. 

This graveyard was gigantic, it was full of men, women, 
children - some had died lately, others were already putrid 
and had become skeletons. 

Frank had to be careful, trying not to slip and fall by walking 
on this carpet of bones and rotting flesh, because the sea of 
the dead seemed to be endless and it filled the plain till the 
horizon. The young man simply went straight ahead for 
some hours and he was scared of this terrible environment. 
But the plain still extended and was still covered with 
countless corpses. Then he suddenly recognized, that the 
mountains in front of him were gigantic piles of skulls. 
Millions of skulls, towering up, to create an atrocious picture. 
Frank walked through the land of the dead and when he 
already thought, that he would never find a way out of this 
terrible world, he suddenly heard a voice. 
„Frank Kohlhaas!", it resounded from somewhere far 
beyond. The dreamer went to the place, from which he had 
heard the voice and could soon recognize a dark spot that 
continued to grow, the nearer he came. Then he saw that it 
was the shadowy man, the eerie judge, who called him. 
J am the politics, Frank Kohlhaas! Nice going, my boy! Now 
you have found me! Here they are!", said the ghost and 
pointed at the ground. 

There lay Rainer Kohlhaas, his father, and Martina Gunther, 
his sister. Both had been killed with a headshot and their 
bodies were rotting, while maggots crawled over their faces. 


"Mark my words, Frank Kohlhaas! If you don't care 
about politics, politics will care about you one day!", 

shouted the judge. 

Frank startled up and could not sleep anymore for the rest 
of the night... 

The rest of the year 2028 passed without any changes in 

the life of the young man. The winter in Lithuania was really 

unpleasant and very cold, and there was no sign of that 

global warming, the international media had proclaimed in 

2011, in order to justify coercive measures and further 

restrictions of civil rights. 

Frank's fear, his sleep disturbances and his depressions 

still came in waves and particularly in these dark winter 

months he had to suffer. 

Wilden and the other villagers had given him a lot of tasks, 

he had to do for the community. And this was good, 

because it diverted him. During autumn, the fields around 

Ivas were harvested by the inhabitants and the yields were 

made winterproof, like in old times. 

All this was also a new ground for Frank, since he had only 

eaten the cheap food of the big agrarian companies so far. 

Moreover, Alf and he renovated the old house, but they 

progressed slowly. Apart from this, the young renegade was 

not yet ready to join the group of rebels - if it were rebels at 


Except for talking, Frank hadn't noticed any considerable 

rebellion, although Wilden told him everything about politics, 

without having a break. 

His daughter didn't seem to think a great deal of him and 

Frank was sure that she still distrusted him too. But at least, 

he had aroused her compassion. ..Nevertheless, ti is 

something!", thought Kohlhaas. 


When it was stormy outside and the ice rain pattered 
against the still leaky windows, when it was dark and cold, 
Frank felt lost. Even if Alf was in the next room, looking for 
some new informations on the Internet. Sometimes 
Kohlhaas heard him rant and sometimes Baumer jubilated. 
„ls this my life for the next decades?", he occasionally asked 
himself. „ls this my fate? Hanging around in this dump in 
Lithuania, with this gang of so called freedom fighters?" 
If he saw the face of his father and his sister in front of his 
inner eye, if he thought about the holo cell and about the 
fact, that his little nephew was raised somewhere in an 
institute for brainwashing, while his sister, who had never 
done something wrong in her life, was rotting in a mass 
grave, he was fuming with rage. 

„Alf, what is the meaning of the symbol of the "Red Moon" 
groups? Please explain it to me again?", he asked his fellow 
one evening. 

„l already answered that question!", remarked Alf, who 
wanted to go to bed. 

„l want to know it - exactly!", said Frank with a black look, 
which even caused some respect in Alf. 
„Well, it is an old cult symbol. The "bloody moon" or „blood- 
moon". The old Celts, just as many other people of the 
ancient times, knew this mystical indication. In the winter, it 
was more important than everything else. At that time, the 
cattle was slaughtered in great numbers before the 
beginning of the snowfall on a certain full moon night. 
Therefore, our ancestors called this moon the "blood moon". 
Moreover, it was also a ritual for the old gods, in order to 
invoke their protection and assistance in the cold months. 
The elders cast a magic circle with blood, drank red wine, 
prayed and danced. Some even believed, that during this 
ritual not only the souls of the decedents were present, but 


also the spirits of the animals, which had donated their lifes 

to give food to the humans", explained Alf. 

„Then it was some kind of ritual for the dead?", asked Frank 


„This is one meaning. The other meaning is the coming war, 

the revenge, the bloodshed, the rage of battle. One also 

knows the bloody moon as a warning to the enemy. It just 

depends on the interpretation of the symbol. The founders 

of the „Red Moon" groups thought, that this sign would just 

look cool or interesting", said Baumer. 

„l like the second meaning! Yes!", hissed Frank. 

Alfred looked at him with surprise, scraping with his fingers 

over the wooden table. 

„l_et us bring the blood moon upon our enemies! I will talk to 

Wilden. If I join your so called rebellion, I fucking want to 

make rebellion!", grumbled Frank. 

„We are rebels...", returned Alf and stared at his aggressive 


"I hope it! I want to take lives!", screamed Kohlhaas and 

banged his fist on the table. „Revenge! Blood moon!" 

Frank turned around and went to his room. He slammed the 

door behind himself and up to the next morning, Baumer 

didn't see him again. 


Rebellion and Fresh Snow 

It did not last long, until Ivas was covered with a thick 
mantle of snow and it was bitterly cold. Frank and Alf could 
only stay in the largest room of their house, where the old 
wood fired oven was located. 

This season was more than unpleasant and often both men 
needed some blankets to warm theirselves. But at least, the 
roof didn't have no more holes and it didn't snow into the 
upper floor of the old building. This was better than nothing. 
Today, Frank Kohlhaas made the decision to talk to 
Thorsten Wilden. He wanted to become a real rebel and 
promised himself to join the fight - but he still didn't know 

It was a grey winter morning and the few sources of light in 
the inhabited houses of the village, had no real chance to 
repel the twilight. 

A resolute Frank trudged through the fresh snow of the last 
night, toward the house of Thorsten Wilden. The young man 
finally had enough of the monotonousness in this so called 
rebel base. 

„You want me? You can have me!", he whispered to 

After a while, Frank reached the house of the village boss 
and knocked on the door. Agatha Wilden opened and Julia 
could be seen behind her in the corridor. Kohlhaas gave 
them a quiet „Hello!". Then Wilden appeared on the stairs, 
which led to the upper floor. 

„Frank! Welcome! What can I do for you?", asked the gray- 
haired gentleman with sursprise. The village boss seemed 
to be overslept and was still unshaved. 


„We need to talk, Mr. Wilden!", answered Frank with a 

vacant expression, which neither Julia nor Agatha Wilden 

had ever seen before. Kohlhaas scowled and crossed his 


„Well, we go to my office!", said the rebel leader. 

„Okay! Let's go!", muttered Frank and went up the stairs. 

Then both men sat opposite to each other and Frank started 

to talk, before Wilden could begin. 

„This is not a holiday camp, you have said to me. Well! 

Well!", spoke Frank with an angry face. „This is a rebel 

base, you have told me, Mr. Wilden!" 

„lt is!", returned the older gentleman, looking at his young 

guest, who behaved queerly today. 

„AII right! Then we shall start a rebellion! First, I would like to 

learn to shoot! Assault rifle, machine gun, handguns. Is that 

okay, Mr. Wilden?", said Frank, somehow demanding. 

J think you can! ", answered the village boss. 

„Great, Mr. Wilden! I am ready now. I know that some of the 

guys here talk about me after the slogan: We just feed that 

Frank, but he is useless and does not join our great fight. 

Well, here I am! Ready for combat! If there is a big fight 

here at all, because I haven't noticed a fucking rebellion 

yet!", teased the young man. 

„First and foremost, we develop self-sufficient structures. 

The armed operation, concerning your liberation, has been 

an exception. Otherwise, we plan no further things of that 

character for the next time", explained Wilden. 

„However!", said Kohlhaas. „lf any special operations start, 

then let me know it. I will join them. My life isn't important 

and I will show you, that I have more guts, than most of 

these farmers, who treat me with scorn. Thus, you let me 

know, if there is some action, okay? Have a nice day and 

greetings to Fraulein Julia, Mr. Wilden!" 


Frank knocked on the table, smiled informally and left the 
room. He ran down the stairs, murmured a "Tschuft!" to 
Julia and closed the front door behind him. Thorsten Wilden, 
his wife and his daugtherwere perturbed. This part of Frank 
had been unknown to them yet. And Frank was surprised 
about that side of his personality too. 

"If I shall revolt, I have to learn to shoot, Alf! Where are your 

weapons?", Frank edged his unnerved friend. 

"You make my nerves explode, Kohlhaas! What do you 

want from me?", screamed Alf. His roommate didn't stop his 

urging and slowly became aggressive. 

J go to Wilden!", grumbled the young man. 

„Okay, I have a gun. If you like, we can do some firing 

practices in the forest", groaned Alf. 

„AII right! What are you waiting for?", answered Frank with a 


Baumer went into the cellar and finally returned with a Glock 

in his hand. Then the two men left the house. 

„rm dying to know if you hit something!", teased Alf his 

friend on the way to the nearby forest behind the village, but 

Frank just gazed at the ground. After they had waded 

through the high snow for a while, Alf stopped. 

„Do you see that knothole in the birch over there?", he 

asked Frank. 

„Of course, give me the gun!", answered Kohlhaas. 

Without further thinking, the young man aimed for the tree, 

which was about ten meters away from him. 

„Bang! Bang! Bang!" 

Alfred ran to the birch, after Frank had shot the magazine 

empty. He was astonished. Most of the bullets had hit the 

little knothole and large pieces of crust had been torn out. 

„Not bad, boy!", he remarked and waved the inexperienced 

shooter nearer. 


„How many times have you already shot in your life?" 

„Never before!", answered Kohlhaas and smiled. 

„Your lately grown self-confidence seems to make even a 

good shooter of you", murmured Alf. 

Shortly afterwards, Kohlhaas shot three further magazines 

empty. Then they had to stop, in order to waste not too 

much ammunition. Baumer was quite impressed, that his 

fellow had hit the target relative exactly. 

„Wilden can organize an assault rifle and a machine gun for 

you. Then you can practice with them", promised Alf. A little 

later, they went back to their house again. Dusk was falling. 

So strange and insignificant it was, at first sight - Alf s 

compliment had filled the young Frank with pride. He smiled 

confidently and looked already forward to the next firing 

practices with the bigger war weapons, the real "Wummen". 

Apparently, he had a talent for shooting. And that he had a 

talent for something, he hadn't heard all too often in his life 


Frank spent the first two weeks of the cold and wet January, 

the ugliest month the year, with numerous firing practices 

and the reading of political and historical books, that Wilden 

had given to him. Moreover with occasional works for the 


Meanwhile, he felt a little more accepted by the other 

villagers, after he had signaled that he was ready to join the 


Even Julia Wilden had smiled at him for the first time, when 

he had asked her father for more ammunition for his 

weapons at the door. He blustered into the thought of 

becoming a rebel. Therefore, Kohlhaas shot during his firing 

practices, in his mind, rather at hazy prison guards, 

policemen or politicians, as at bottles or trees. Often he 

grinned like a happy child, when the cold steel of a rifle slid 


into his hand. His shooting results became better and better 
and when he went to bed, after an arduous day, he often 
mused about the blood moon and did not notice, how 
malicious his smile had become. 

Alfred observed him with scepticism. Frank appeared 
calmly, and sometimes he just absently stared out the 
window and bit on his lower lip, till it began to bleed. 
Usually he did not even seem to notice it. The young man 
was eager to learn the art of killing in all its facets. Often he 
talked of nothing else but fighting during the dinner. He 
philosophized about the possibilities of resistance, the 
revolution and the counter-propaganda. Some ideas 
appeared to Alf even ingeniously, others were just childish 
and crazy. Something proceeded under Frank's skullcap, 
was slowly bred like an evil child. 

In these days, in which Frank only talked about assault 
rifles, grenade launchers and methods of killing people, 
Baumer thought, that Kohlhaas was screwy. Moreover, 
Frank asked John Thorphy to buy a whole arsenal of 
weapons for him. 

„Maybe, your beloved war will find you sooner as you think, 
my friend", told him Alf once. "We will have a bigger meeting 
at the end of the month, then I can take you with me!" 
„A Meeting? What meeting? To shovel some snow?", 
scoffed Frank. 

„Fuck off! I can't hear your speeches about the revolution 
anymore, Frank. Keep cool and find the way back to reality. 
We will not start to run around like a horde of boozy apes to 
shoot everybody. Do your firing practices or throw your knife 
at trees or do something else!", grumbled Baumer angrily. 
Now, Frank became angry too and went to his undercooled 
room. Most of all, he had liked to kick Alf in the face - or 
someone else. Meanwhile, Kohlhaas was burning inside like 


a torch. A stubborn hate had crept into his brain and he had 
problems to suppress this feeling. So the young man just 
brooded and escaped into a dreamworld full of rebellion and 

The former citizen 1-564398B-278843 dawdled away till the 

end of the month and nervously waited for the meeting, Alf 

had talked about. From now on, Baumer didn't tell Frank 

any further details, concerning the gathering, and just 

ignored him. 

It was the last day of January 2029, and the restless young 

man had got up early today. The meeting of the villagers 

was set for 18.00 o'clock, and Frank walked through the 

cold house for hours, like a nervous tiger. He friendly smiled 

at Baumer, again and again, full of expectation. 

In the late afternoon, Frank and Alf finally left the house and 

went to a brightly lit-up barn, where a few radiant heaters 

had provisionally been stationed. Wilden was waiting for 

them here, in the middle of a larger group of people. 

Frank and Alf briefly welcomed the others and went to a 

dark corner. Both crossed their arms before their chests and 

looked at Wilden, who started his speech: ..Welcome, my 

dear comrades!" 

Kohlhaas nodded to Julia, who stood behind her father. 

Then he smiled and the young woman smiled back. 

..Tm glad that all of you have come to Ivas. I welcome our 

guests from France and all the others, who visit our village 


Kohlhaas' expectation rose to the immeasurable. He gave 

Julia a volatile look again. She winked at him and Frank 

winced, because he had never seen such a friendly gesture 

from her before. Her father continued: ..Tm sure you all 

know, what is our topic today. Tve bought this village some 

years ago, anyhow, some of the houses, in order to create a 


retreat for all, who have pure hearts and want to fight 

against the global system of enslavement. Since then, we 

have achieved a lot and this former ghost town has been 

made to a halfway habitable place again. We have our 

peace here - so far. 

However, I have the impression, that many of us meanwhile 

enjoy this calm life so much that they have forgotten, what 

the true sense of this base is. The sense is to have also a 

place for a free life, for those, who still know, what freedom 

really is, but Ivas is more than that. It is a place of 

resistance against the World Government. 

The last months have been calm, we have behaved calmly. 

We have renovated our village and have secured our 

subsistence, what is essential before you start a great fight. 

This phase is finished now, and the question remaines, how 

we can bring back freedom to our brothers and sisters in our 

old homelands. The fight must begin now!" 

A short applause from the about 100 persons in the large 

barn followed. Frank was staring into space with blank 


„Most of you, who are here today, live in Ivas. Others are 

from the outside. Andrej is here, from the "Russian Patriotic 

Section", Robert and William from the organization „Free 

Britain", moreover our friends from Belgium, better from 

Flanders. Further, Baptiste and Hugo from France. And also 

comrades from Scandinavia have visited us. 

Apart from this, I don't want to forget Soheil and Nirvan, the 

rebels from Iran, because they probably have the longest 

way behind themselves. 

Unfortunately, our comrades from the Spanish „Citadel 

Group" had not been allowed to leave their country, and I 

hope they are fine. Well, I think that I haven't forgotton any 

other guests from outside!", said the village boss. 


„Now I want to give a lecture on our actual topic: Today we 
talk about March the 1 st , 2029, when the World Government 
will celebrate the "Festival of the new World". This 
worldwide event, which takes place in Kiev this year, here in 
the sector ..Eastern Europe", is also celebrated in Paris, in 
"Central Europe". For that reason, the new governor of 
..Central Europe", Leon-Jack Wechsler, will come to the 
former capital of France, in order to open the ceremonies 
and military parades. 

The international media will report about this event, whereby 
the ceremonies in New York and Paris will be the politically 
most important ones, and will get the greatest attention." 
..That much is clear!", whispered Alf quietly. 
..Since the official takeover in the year 2018, the 
celebrations of the "Festival of the new World" have always 
been an enormous spectacle, that even excelled the soccer 
world championships and the Olympics!", said Wilden. 
..Even if the media have hushed it up in the last months, 
France is a country, which stands close to big chaos. The 
introduction of the "additional water consumption tax" in the 
last year has annoyed millions of people. 
Furthermore, the poverty of the masses is still becoming 
worse, as everywhere in "Central Europe". Meanwhile, the 
conflicts between the Moslem Algerians and the other 
immigrants, who have the majority in all big French cities, 
and the native population, has achieved an explosive 
extent. If the GCF occupation troops wouldn't press the lid 
on the cooking pot with outermost force, France would fall to 
pieces tomorrow", explained the rebel leader, while the two 
Frenchmen nodded approvingly. 

..Already in the last year, there have been social and racial 
riots in Paris and Marseille with almost 1000 deads. The 
police and the GCF have finally shot down the people 
without mercy. We all know the pictures", said Wilden. 


„Anyhow, it has still become worse this year, as I have 
already expected it. More monitoring, more unemployed 
people, more homeless people, more crime and more war in 
the streets, as everywhere ..Central Europe", where the so 
called philanthropists give us their political benedictions!" 
„He talks about politics again...", groaned Frank. 
..What will we do now? What will we do on 01. March 2029, 
when probably between one and two million spectators 
come to Paris?", asked Wilden the others. 
„lf the media and so many people are there, why don't we 
make any spectacular actions? With transparencies for 
example...", suggested a villager. 

„We plan a lot of such things, and we don't need any foreign 
assistance for these simple campaigns. We have enough 
men in France for actions like that!", explained one of the 
Frenchmen and shook his head. 

..Perhaps, we should join the crowd and...", said a young 

..Wait!", interrupted him Frank suddenly. „We kill that Leon- 
Jack Wechsler! Than we would set an example!" 
Wilden and the others turned their heads toward the dark 
corner, from where the bold proposal had come. Frank 
stared back and kept a straight face. 
..Forget about that, boy! Around Wechsler is a security zone 
of two kilometers, full of GCF soldiers, agents and cops!", 
said a man and looked disdainfully at Frank. 
„No more nonsens! Just shut up!", hissed Alf nervously. 
..Well, but throwing leaflets at the soldiers during the parade, 
or stick out the tongue at the governor, is just pathetic!", 
returned Frank. „l will kill this son of a bitch! Who comes 
with me?" 

Now Wilden intervened, because many visitors became 
angry: „We should be realistic. There is no place here for 
macho behaviour, boy!" 


„l'm not joking! Absolutely not!", screamed Frank. „l know 

that it is dangerous, but I don't fear death. Thus, who wants 

to follow me? Let us kill this motherfucker!" 

„Enough, Kohlhaas!", yelled Wilden. 

„Who are you, young man, that you have such a big mouth? 

You are hardly a few days here and you already play the big 

gorilla!", insulted him a young woman from the other corner 

of the room. 

..That's right! You are that crazy guy from the holo cell. And 

there, your brain has been damaged!", shouted someone in 

Frank's direction. 

„We don't need your show, boy!", it came from the side. 

„Now, shut up! This is just embarrassing!", railed Alf and 

nudged Frank. 

„l am Frank Kohlhaas! I say it now, in front of all of you, 

although I don't know the most of you very well. I will go to 

Paris to kill this fucking Wechsler, if you give me the 

weapons and the equipment. Maybe I die! So what? I just 

give a shit on that! 

I swear, by my honour and my name, the good name of my 

father and my sister, who were murdered by people like this 

bastard Wechsler. If I change my opinion tomorrow, then I 

beg you, to shoot me, because then I have no right to life 

anymore!", screamed Kohlhaas. 

Baumer sighed and held his head. Others looked 

disbelievingly at Frank. Nevertheless, some of the villagers 

seemed to be fascinated by the young fanatic. Julia Wilden 

belonged to the latter group, as Kohlhaas hoped. 

„The guy is crazy!", Frank heard someone say. 

Wilden tried to interrupt Frank's lecture: ..Well, I would like 

to tell you a little more about the political situation. Frank, 

just shut up now!" 

But the young man had not finished yet: „l have to say 

something to you glorious rebels! And you shall listen to my 


will kill me! I mean it. If necessary, I will go all alone. It 
would only be nice, if one of you brave warriors could give 
me a map of Paris. If I should have changed my opinion 
tomorrow, then you have to kill me! I ask you again: Who 
comes with me?" 

A loud mutter went through the barn. Alf looked 
embarrassingly at the ground and tried to explain his 
neighbor that Frank could also be "normal". 
It took some minutes for Wilden to restore silence. 
Meanwhile, the young man had gone back to his corner 
again and seemed to have calmed down. 
„Mannomann!", hummed Baumer. ..Everyone here reputes 
you as a total crank now. Killing Leon-Jack Wechsler? Such 
an imbecility!" 

Alf s friend didn't answer and just looked at him with cold 
eyes, then he grinned grimly. For the rest of the meeting, 
which lasted not much longer anymore, Frank behaved 
calmly, giving a black look to everyone, who seemed to 
doubt about his fanatical resoluteness. 
The two Frenchmen, Baptiste and Hugo, who obviously 
belonged to a patriotic group from Northern France, briefly 
explained, what they had planned for the day of the festival. 
They were sure that the masses in the capital of former 
France would be dissatisfied and rebellious enough, to go 
on the barricades. Some Islamic groups from Paris had also 
agreed to a temporary pact with the organization of the two 
Frenchmen, although both sides actually were sworn 
enemies. But on this particular day, they would fight against 
a common opponent, the World Government, and so they 
had put their differences aside this time. However, they just 
postponed their fight for the supremacy in former France. It 
was not improbable that the new governor of ..Central 
Europe" was awaited by the hate and the displeasure of big 


parts of the population, but whether they would dare it, to 

carry their discontent on the streets, was another question. 

Leon-Jack Wechsler and the whole World Government were 

internally hated by many people, but the powerful had an 

enormous might, which the masses feared with good 


The police force and the monitoring functioned. The GCF 

troops, which mostly consisted of mercenaries from 

overseas, who had no closer relationship to France or 

Europe and therefore shot at the native population without 

hesitation, if they received the order to do this, were 

numerous. Furthermore, they had deadly weapons, 

particularly to strike down large crowds. 

Soldiers of French origin mostly served in countries far 

away and not in their homeland. So they also had no 

connection to the people they had to control. Like that were 

the rules of the New World Order. 

GCF soldiers of German origin preferentially served in this 

time as occupying forces in the Near East or in Africa, while 

old Germany was occupied by GCF soldiers from Africa, 

Asia and other regions. And so it was everywhere. 

When the meeting came to an end and the visitors left the 

large barn, Frank was examined by many of them. Alfred 

Baumer was still confused. His fellow seemed to stand 

close to insanity. Julia Wilden finally came to him and 

tapped the young Kohlhaas on the shoulder. 

„Hey, Frank!", she said quietly. The rebel turned around and 

stared at her. 

„What the hell was that? You know that your idea is just 

madness! What is wrong with you, Frank?", she asked 


„rm all right, Fraulein!", answered Frank harshly. 

„However, you will not really try this?", she returned. 

„Of course I will try it! Do you think, Tm a twaddler?" 


„None of us would come only hundred meters in the vicinity 

of Wechsler", remarked the woman. 

„This will be my problem - and not yours! You can organize 

a city map of Paris for me, this would be a great help, 

Julia!", answered Kohlhaas and regarded Wilden's daughter 

with a vacant expression. 

„l know, you think that many of the other villagers don't take 

you to be a real rebel - and it is also partly correct - but 

such a suicide operation is just senseless", said Julia, trying 

to change his mind. 

„lf you say so. It is my life and my concern. I don't force you 

to come with me. Hand out your leaftlets or spray some 

philosophical slogans on the walls. I will do, what I think is 

right!", said Frank. „The others may think, what they want. I 

don't care about these idiots. They want to be rebels? I can 

only laugh! Well, the release operation of Alf and me was 

not bad, but we have to do more things like that. Those 

fucking guys, who destroy our lives, just think that they are 

invulnerable! But they can also bleed and die like all other 

people too. It's time to hold them accountable for all this 

shit! It's time to make them pay for all their crimes, Julia! 

And I will show those fucking pigs, that they can also be 

switched off. I will go to your father tomorrow and then I will 

ask him, to give me the necessary equipment for my 


„But...", whispered Julia. 

„l have to go now!", said Frank and left the young woman 


The following days were full of disputes with Alf and Wilden, 
who meant that the Frank had made a fool of himself. 
Nevertheless, he didn't listen to them and became 
obsessed by the thought, to kill the governor of ..Central 
Europe", in order to point the way for others. And some of 


his proposals were not stupid at all, although they appeared 
crazy and daring. 

„You want to enter Paris as a visitor with your falsified 

Scanchip. Okay, that could be possible", said Wilden. 

„Border controls had already been abolished, since the 

times of the European Union, and today, in a time of free 

trade, they would be even inconceivable, from the economic 

point of view. The close monitoring of the masses is much 

more effective." 

Yes, I know!", answered Frank impatiently. „How can I get 

through this security zone to shoot Wechsler? Should I take 

a sniper rifle to kill this guy?", asked Kohlhaas. 

„This will be difficult, because in the periphery of at least 

one kilometer, security forces will be everywhere, also on 

the high buildings and of course inside the zone", replied the 

village boss. 

„When will the police establish this secured area?", asked 


„Maybe two or three days before the event. But I don't 

believe that you could hide there somewhere, boy!", 

returned Wilden. 

J will find a way. If they kill me or not, is not important for 

me anymore. I only have to get in that zone - this would be 

enough", murmured Kohlhaas. 

"Well, you could support us with other operations in a much 

better way, Frank. Have you ever thought about that? 

Operations, that will not end in suicide", Wilden tried to 


„Perhaps! But I have already said it in front of all the men at 

the meeting, and now there is no more truning back. But 

how?", said Kohlhaas thoughtfully. 

„As you may think fit... ", groaned the village boss. 


„lf there is no way to reach this scumbag at the surface, 

then I must look for an alternative...?", pondered Kohlhaas. 

„But I have just no knowledge about this damn city." 

„What do you mean?", Wilden was baffled. 

"If I wanted to make such a job in Berlin, my hometown, I 

would come through any tunnels, old underground pits or 

something like that", said Frank. 

„You would find a lot of tunnels in Paris. This city is more 

undermined than each anthill, there are probably 

innumerable underground entrances, particularly in the 

inner part of the city", admitted Wilden. 

„Who can give me more informations about this? These two 

Frenchmen are nevertheless still here for a few days, 

right?", mumbled Frank. 

„Well, I hardly believe that they know every tunnel under 

Paris. In addition, they are from the north of the country. But 

there are construction plans of tunnels and sewers in the 

data bases of the administration or on the Internet. You 

should ask HOK! 

Each official document must also be published in English. 

This is a regulation. Thus, you don't even need to be able to 

understand French. Just ask HOK! Nevertheless, it's a 

completely crazy idea! Either you will get lost in these holes 

or they will shoot you. But you will never reach Wechsler!", 

prophesied Wilden. 

But he just underestimated Frank's imaginativeness and 

obstinacy. Only a few hours later, after he had reconsidered 

and noted, which weapons and articles of equipment had to 

be used for the assassination, Kohlhaas ran to HOK and 

forced him to look for some plans of the underground of 


While Frank passionately told HOK his plans, the computer 

expert just groaned, because the young hotspur had 

disturbed him during an important work. But then he did 


Kohlhaas the favour and entered the world of data bases 
and electronic construction plans. HOK fortunately was a 
researcher nature and after approximately half an hour, he 
was also fascinated by his new task. 
It lasted a while, until he had found so informations. Paris 
was really more hollowed out than all the other cities in 
Europe. Meanwhile, about 16 million people lived in the 
metropolis and the city drowned in its own dirt and stench. 
Since 1850, when most of the tunnels and the 
comprehensive metro system had been built, the old capital 
of France stood on a network of mile-long corridors. 
Already in 2010, the underground system could not be 
extended anymore, because the workers had already found 
old tunnels and holes everywhere . 

After the world economic crisis in 2012/13 and during the 
following years, many metro lines had been closed in 
consequence of substantial budget cuts. After 2018, it had 
become worse, what still annoyed the people of Paris down 
to the present day. 

Today many old underground tunnels were unused and led 
into nowhere. The tunnel system was so enormous, that 
even official construction plans could not completely show 
the numerous tunnels below the city. Nevertheless, HOK 
found some interesting data bases and struggled through 
mountains of new informations. The hours passed and the 
thick man was soon completely absent-minded again. 
„Until tomorrow, I will search for some nice tunnels and 
corridors for you, which will lead you that close to 
Wechslefs speech desk, that you can tickle his feet. 
If the plans are still relevant at all, I can't say, Frank. And I 
can't give you a warranty. Much has changed in the last 
years. Many old, abandoned tunnels and so on...", he said 


Kohlhaas waited for results and already imagined details of 

his assassination attempt in his mind. 

„Have fun with all these plans, my friend. I will go now. 

Thank you!", answered Frank and left HOK's house with a 

happy smile. 

After approximately one week, HOK and Frank had 

prepared a detailed plan, which should lead the rebel 

through a tunnel system of almost three kilometers. 

The avenue of Paris, which had been called „Avenue de 

Champs Elysees" in former times, had been renamed in 

„Avenue of Humanity" in 2018, and the triumpal arch, one of 

the old landmarks of the city, had been torn down in 2019. 

Just as the Eifel tower, which had been dismantled one year 

later. In place of the "Arc de Triomphe", the new rulers had 

built a modern art building called "Temple of Tolerance", a 

giant dark pyramide. 

Moreover, the "Avenue of Humanity" had intensively been 

converted, whereby many of the old historical houses had 

been replaced by concrete buildings of an "unity-look". 

After initial protests, the citizens of Paris had become 

accustomed to them. They simply had other problems than 

worrying about the preservation of old landmarks or houses. 

And there were still further plans to separate the city more 

thoroughly from its old face, because modern slaves did not 

need an own identity or senses of home. 

The parade of the GCF occupation troops should take place 

on 01.03.2029, at the „Avenue of Humanity", just as other 

events to entertain the crowd. A part of the long, old street 

would be a fenced off, accessible for nobody. About thirty 

meters in front of the thing, called „Temple of Tolerance", 

the speaker's plattform, where Leon-Jack Wechsler would 

open the ceremonies, should be erected. 

The masses, that would fill the streets around the security 

zone, should see the politician only on big video screens, 


which would be set up to hundreds along the "Avenue of 

Humanity" and in the whole city. 

What was allowed, to be admired from the proximity, were 

the GCF soldiers and the policemen, who would 

demonstrate strength, marching down the boulevard. 

The governor of the administrative sector ..Central Europe" 

would bring the "great message of humanity" of the New 

World Order, and the parade of the security forces and the 

military would show the people, that it was healthier to 

believe that message - in case of doubt. 

It was a tremendous insanity to go to the dirty metropolis to 

kill this polititian. Nevertheless, Frank Kohlhaas bred it in his 

mind. He had nothing to lose. It could nothing happen worse 

than dying. 


Procrastination is the Thief of Time! 

..Procrastination is the thief of time!" 
..Procrastination is the thief of time!" 
..Procrastination is the thief of time! " 

Frank still fed his illusion and repeated this slogan like a 
prayer. In the following days he was just concerned about 
the fact that he would become scared. But retreat was not 
allowed anymore, he had to remain hard and Kohlhaas did 
also not allow his resoluteness, to get any cracks. 
„l_eon-Jack Wechsler must die... die... die!", he recited 
himself again and again. 

Meanwhile, Alf got out of his way most of the time. 
Nevertheless, he was fascinated by the idea of creeping 
through tunnels get into the security zone. And sometimes 
he even thought about following his crazy buddy to Paris. 
To kill the governor and to cause riots in one of the most 
important cities of the continent, was a great chance and 
could have sweeping political consequences. 
Furthermore, the possibility of participating in a "big thing" 
was offered to him. In this point, he had to agree with Frank. 
However, he also had nothing to lose and what kind of rebel 
would he be, if he bitched out now? 

The days passed and Alfred could hardly sleep. Should he 
really join the operation? But how? Creeping through 
tunnels, then emerging and shooting at Wechsler? 
That would be their certain death, even if it functioned. They 
just wouldn't survive this. Escaping from the security zone 
would simply be impossible, Alf was sure. He had to talk to 
Frank, because the plan was still not perfect. 


The first week of the new month had almost passed and hail 

came from the dark sky outside. Frank and Alfred sat in the 

kitchen and had a hard day behind them. Kohlhaas had 

mused for days and was still not completely content. He had 

asked HOK for more construction plans of sewers and other 

tunnels below Paris, but he had come to no solution. 

Alfred ended the silence. „You have said, we can come to 

you, if we want to join the operation, right? Okay, I have 

thought about it and came to the decision, not to let you do 

this crazy job alone, Frank." 

„Aha, this sounds good to me. You really want to help me?", 

returned Frank with a smile. 

Alfred looked back and said: „More or less, but I need some 

more informations about all this. The idea with the sewers 

and tunnels seems to be not bad at all and HOK has 

already given some plans to you. Did you meanwhile study 

them sufficiently?" 

„Yes, I did!" 

"Anyway, that's not enough!", answered Alf. 

„Thus, your plan is to come somehow into the proximity of 

that "Temple of Tolerance", through these sewers or 

tunnels, right? And then you want to shoot at Wechsler?", 

asked Baumerwith surprise. 

„About that!", said Frank. 

"But you should know, that the entrances to the sewers in 

the direct proximity of the event, will all be weld shut by the 

police. I think, two or three days before the spectacle", 

returned Alf. 

Frank recognized that his friend had found a weak point of 

his plan: „You are probably right. I already have seen this on 

television, in some reports. This could be! Shit!" 

„You have to modify your plan. In addition, I don't have the 

desire to join a suicide operation. And it would be nothing 

else, if we suddenly come out of a hole and shoot at the 


governor, who is surrounded by countless cops," said 

Baumer thoughtfully. 

„Maybe you Ye right...", answered Frank and moaned. „Then 

make a proposal, Baumer!" 


Alfred took a slip, on which he had written something. He 

hesitated for some seconds and sifted the small note for the 

most important details of his plan. 

Finally he said: „We go into a channel, a tunnel or 

something like that, in the distance of two or three 

kilometers - in an insignificant side street, by night. 

I have to study HOK's documents. However, we need 

something else than an usual handgun, which we couldn't 

use at all in the worst case, if the security forces really had 

locked all the gully covers around the "Temple of Tolerance" 

before the event." 

"Get ready with you speech!", said Kohlhaas. 

J talk about an explosive charge, that we place under 

Wechslefs ass and blow him up in front of the eyes of the 

world public. I thought of NDC-23. The stuff is easy to carry 

and highly concentrated. Twenty kilograms are sufficient, to 

destroy a part of the canal system, the square in front of this 

so called "Temple of Tolerance" and of course this fucking 


We could transport it in backpacks into the tunnel system 

and bring it to explode below the speaker's platform. Of 

course, we will use a time fuse so that we can escape 

before the big burst!", explained Alfred and seemed to be 


„Damn! A great idea!", said Frank and banged on the table. 

John or one the others can organize the explosive for us. 

Above all, the Russians sell a lot of NDC-23 on the black 

market, mostly remnants of the dissolved army of the former 

GUS", added Baumer. Frank just smiled and said nothing. 


..Moreover, we must assume that some tunnel entrances 

remain blocked for us, either because workers of the public 

utilities are still working there, or because of the security 

forces, that had locked them", explained Alf. 

Frank scratched his head and cogitated. Alfred's plan 

pleased him. 

„We need some blowtorchs to open locks or grids, if 

necessary", remarked Baumer. „We have a few in the 

village here. It is no problem to take them." 

..Brilliant!", said Frank enthusiastically. 

Alf continued: „And there is one more thing. If they scan the 

tunnel system with infrared in the morning before the event, 

we should have some cooling covers to cloak ourselves. 

John can obtain them. Nevertheless, the whole operation is 

really dangerous. We must consider everything!" 

..Well, we should go to Wilden, and tell him about our plan. 

Perhaps he has some more good ideas", praised Frank his 


Soon after, the village boss evaluated the plan, which had 

been introduced to him by both men this time. Julia Wilden, 

who stood next to her father, also seemed to be impressed. 

Frank smiled at her and enjoyed her admiration. 

Still much more had to be done, and next, the men went to 

John Thorphy. The Irishman felt disturbed and openly 

expressed his displeasure, when the two rebels tried to 

send him out to buy the equipment for them. But finally, 

Wilden gave him the order to organize the explosive and the 

other things. 

Where John Thorphy had found the NDC-23, he did not tell. 

But it lastet only three days until he returned with over 

twenty kilograms of the highly explosive material and gave it 

to the two men with a big smile. 

..Procastrination is the thief of time!", thought Frank, as he 

regarded the plasticine-like mass, packed up in blue bags. 


His deadly idea slowly took shape, and in his mind he 
already saw the hated politician torn to pieces on the 
asphalt in front of the "Temple of Tolerance". 
His dark, delusional resoluteness couldn't even be 
destroyed by sleep disturbances, panic attacks or 
nightmares anymore. He was eager to bring death to this 
man and also to each other person, who would dare to 
stand in his way. Frank just ignored the fright, that was 
lurking in the night, and looked forward to the great day of 

Nothing should ever avert his revenge on this cruel world, 
as Frank covenanted. Sometimes he went down in the dark 
cellar, where Alf stored the explosive. All the rooms here 
were cluttered with rotten boards and old crates. There was 
not even a light switch. And while his friend slept, the young 
rebel crept secretly down the stone stairs and bent over the 
blue bags, which were sealed with adhesive tape, stroking 
them with a dearful smile like a mother her newborn child. 

Until middle of February, Frank and Alf spent their time with 
the intensive study of construction plans. HOK visited them 
several times, in order to give them still more current and 
detailed recordings. 

They planned, on recommendation of the computer 
scientist, to enter the underground labyrinth at the "Avenue 
of Saint-Ouen", nearly two kilometers away from the 
security zone. 

Here were endless dark tunnels and some of them lead 
directly to the square in front of the "Temple of Tolerance". 
Nevertheless, the trip to the underworld of Paris was 
insanity. Apart from the fact, that they could not build on the 
documents of the authorities of the city, there was also the 
possibility to get lost in the dark corridors. Some tunnels had 
been closed many years ago, or were just collapsed. 


Moreover, even the older employees of the city 
administration did not know all the paths through the earth 
anymore. Further, Frank and Alf didn't want to make the 
acquaintance of the notorious catacombs of Paris. Those 
dark places were a necropolis, as there was no second in 

Here rested the bones of over five million people, who were 
brought into the darkness below the city, because of lack of 
space on the cemeteries in the early modern times,. 
Therefore, the former French capital stood on a gigantic 
grave field. Alf often talked about these chambers of the 
dead below the city, which were redundant with bones up to 
the ceiling. Frank, who always said that he was not afraid to 
die, became a bit scared, when he thought about these 
spooky places. 

„May the dead of Paris forgive us, that we enter their realm. 
Their brothers in the netherworld, who look complaining 
down at this earth, because their life was so early 
terminated by the new rulers, will thank us, if we revenge 
them!", philosophized Kohlhaas. 

However, there was a lot to organize now, far away from all 
ghost stories about catacombs and dark holes in the 
underground of Paris. Meanwhile, time pressed. 
Frank and Alfred should be brought to Compiegne, in the 
northeast of Paris, by an airplane, in order to penetrate the 
city from there, behaving like harmless tourists. All the 
planes in Ivas were registered and had completely 
inconspicuous owners. Therefore, this approach seemed to 
be clever. 

Then, the two assassins wanted to drive from Compiegne to 
Paris with a hire car. Their Scanchips were falsified and 
soon they would see, if HOK's abilities had been good 
enough. At least, the journey to Paris should start one week 


before the 01.03.2029, so that enough time remained, to 

explore some tunnels in the nights before the event. 

The shabby hotel, in which Frank and Alfred should wait for 

the great day, had already been chosen by HOK. He had 

booked a room for them on the Internet, and had also 

contacted the hire car company in Compiegne. 

All had to be planned to the smallest detail, because there 

was no time to waste and uncertainties could become a 

deadly disaster. 

The takeoff of the small transport aircraft, which officially 

belonged to Mr. Artur Burzius, a Russian insurance buyer, 

should start from Ivas on 19.02.2029 at 9.00 o'clock. Then, 

the two resistance fighters would enter the lion's den. Still 

two days remained. Time was ticking away and Frank had 

to admit, despite all frights of the holo cell and the strokes of 

fate he had overcome, that he was scared. Scared to death. 

Afraid to die soon. 

He tried to hide his nervousness, but his whipping with the 

foot, when he sat at the kitchen table, and his talking while 

he was dozing, betrayed him. 

However, his friend felt the same. Alfred mostly ran through 

the village in these days, speaking at each possible 

opportunity with Wilden, who tried to encourage him. 

Sometimes, he sat in the brightly illuminated kitchen during 

the whole night, with a cup of tea and a cigarette, just 

looking out the window. Baumer did not sleep very much 

and waited eargerly for the start of the operation. 

Julia is at the door, Frank!", called Alf from the side room, 
while his roommate tried to concentrate on a political 
brochure. Dusk was already falling outside. The journey to 
the west was set for 9.00 o'clock tomorrow. During this day, 
many villagers had come to the two men, to wish them all 
the best for the operation. Several women had brought 


cakes and food. Even HOK had visited them again - with 

some more construction plans in his hands. 

Steffen de Vries, the Belgian, who lived with his family in 

Ivas since four years and had to fly the two rebels to 

Compiegne, had also been there for several hours. 

Meanwhile, de Vries was also more than nervous. 

Tm coming!", answered Frank and left his bedroom. 

Baumer had already led Julia in and went with her into the 

kitchen. She was pleased to see Frank and shook his hand. 

„l just wanted to wish you good luck!", she said and seemed 

to be concerned and gloomy. 

„Thanks! We will need it!", answered Alfred and took a deep 


„Thanks, Julia! It's just nice to see you!", returned Frank. 

..However, still a last beautiful sight, before we will enter the 

spooky underground." 

Now, the pretty woman smiled shyly and didn't find the right 

word for a short moment. 

J wanted to...", she stammered. „lf it will be too 

dangerous. ..however.. .and you have no chance to reach 

Wechsler, you can always stop the operation!" 

Julia stared with her sad eyes at the table surface. Frank 

turned to the window and said: „We will see! When we are 

in Paris, there will be no more turning back!" 

„l meant... ", she added. 

„Don't worry! We will be successful, and if not, the 

catacombs are near and we will meet a lot of dead buddies", 

joked Alf with a cynical undertone. 

Julia Wilden obviously found this not very funny and shook 

her head. „Don't say such stupid things!", she spoke quietly 

and seemed to be close to tears. Kohlhaas enjoyed it, to 

see her in such a condition, if he was honest. Now the 

beautiful Fraulein, who was always a bit precocious, 

showed some feelings. 


But Frank still played the hard rebel: „We will return for sure, 

Julia! We will kill this asshole without mercy!" 

Then she said goodbye with tears in her eyes and shook 

Baumefs hand. Frank was even hugged by her. He was 

pleased that she treated him in such a way, and briefly, he 

was nearly inspired. But he checked himself and tried to 

think about something else, ignoring the pretty, young 


„She likes you, Franky!", teased him Alf, after Julia had left 

the house. 

"No idea!", answered his friend with a shake of the head. 

"She is really nice!", added Baumer with a broad grin. 

Frank turned away from him, went to the window and stared 

at the squalid garden behind the house. It was dark and 

rainy outside. 

The two rebels were still awake for several hours. Now they 
were untwisted and nervous. This last night in Ivas, before 
the highly dangerous job in Paris, was terrible for Frank. He 
had weird dreams again, which afflicted him in the short 
phase of his sleep during the morning hours. He could 
remember just a few things on the next morning, when the 
Fleming, his pilot, awaked him with loud banging and calling 
at the front door: 

Frank walked through a strange dreamworld once more. It 
completely resembled the holo cell, in which he had 
suffered for eight long months. White, sharp neon light cut 
into his eyes and he trudged through the bright fog of light 
without a real goal. 

After a while, he recognized that it was his holo cell, but it 
appeared much bigger as he could remember. The walls 
could not be seen anymore and only the toilet and the hated 


plank bed with its light-gray pleather stood in the middle of 

the white light. 

„Frank!", he heard the deep voice of an adult of man from a 

distance. „Fraaank!" 

He followed the call and soon faced a terrible sight. In front 

of him was an enormous spider net, full of thick, black 

spiders. Some hatefully stared at him with their glinty eyes, 

and their slimy mandibles twitched. Some of the creatures 

hissed, when he appeared in front of their net, others were 

busy with eating their prey. 

The enormous spider net, which seemed to broaden into the 

white illuminated sky, was full of screaming humans, who 

were clinging to thick and slimy threads. 

The young man came closer and saw now, who was in the 

claws of the ugly spider monsters. It were babies. It was 

Nico. They all were little Nicos. Nevertheless, their voices 

did not sound like the voices of babies, they were deeper. 

Voices of men, who were already adult. 

„Frank! Look at us!", yelled one of the babies, in whose flesh 

one of the spiders had bored its mandibles. „Look at us! 

Look at us!" 

The beasts munched and refreshed themselves with the 

warm blood of the little humans, while the babies called: „As 

you can see, Frank, the holo cell has grown! Can you see 

it? Can you see, how outstanding perfected it is? This cell 

does not know walls or borders anymore, because it covers 

the whole world. It has been improved greatly, hasn't it?" 

And the spiders continued to eat their victims. Soon they 

had turned away from Frank again, crept over the gigantic 

net and sucked and ate and devoured. 

Just look at us, Frank!", chorused the babies. Then it was 

again black in the head of the dreamer and he forgot, how 

the dream continued... 


Frank and Alf packed their bags and Steffen de Vries 

helped them. Already in this phase of the operation, 

mistakes had to be avoided and at first, the list of equipment 

was checked off. 

Flashlights, explosive, pistols, close combat weapons for 

the case of emergency, meal rations, gumboots, army 

boots, construction plans of sewers and so on. The list was 

long and it lasted over one hour until the three rebels had 

finished their work. Before they went to the transport 

aircraft, Mr. Wilden suddenly came to them. 

„l wish you all the best, my heros!", he called. „Have you 

already heard the news today?" 

Wilden smiled and was gasping for breath, while Frank, Alf 

and the Belgian turned around: „No, we had other 


Japan!", said the gray-haired man. Japan has left the 

World Union! They want their old state back!" 

"Aha... ", answered Frank without any interest. 

J wanted to tell you that, before you fly away! There were 

big demonstrations in Tokyo and in many other cities of the 

country, one week ago. Governor Kaito Ikeda, the servant of 

the World Government, and his advisor Ron Baldwin, have 

resigned and have been expelled from the island. The new 

president of Japan is Haruto Matsumoto, the leader of the 

reform movement. Japan has moreover stopped all 

payments and tributes to the World Government. 

Furthermore, all the foreign diplomats and supervisors have 

been expelled from the country too. No country has dared a 

thing like that since 2018!", explained Wilden with 

unconcealed enthusiasm. 

Japan is at the end of the world and we are here", returned 

Steffen de Vries. 

„However, this is nevertheless a sign! The system is 

crumbling, my friends. Perhaps, other states will follow 


Japan!", said the village boss, somehow disappointed that 

the three men had not fully understood the meaning of 

Matsumoto's rebellion. 

Then he added: „lf you read between the lines, beyond the 

lies and the agitation of the international media, you could 

believe, that even China and Korea are close to a revolt!" 

The three rebels, who were waiting for the flight to a deadly 

mission, just nodded and said goodbye to Wilden. 

Finally the village boss shouted: „You see, nevertheless, 

there is still hope! Our fight is not in vain! Good luck!" 

At half past ten in the morning, the small airplane rose into 

the air. Kohlhaas and Baumer looked wistfully back at the 

place of their provisional peace, the village Ivas. Then they 

disappeared on the horizon. 

Below themselves, they saw the landscape becoming 

smaller and soon the plane flew so high, that they could see 

the clouds. The hidden and open war, which raged below 

them on the ground, seemed to be forgotten for a moment. 

But it would not be vanished, when they would come down 

to earth again. 

They were silent for a while, also the Flemish rebel Steffen 

de Vries, Alf and Frank only knew volatilely. The Belgian 

lived with his two daughters, his son, his wife and his dog in 

the proximity of the village center, in a barely renovated 


It was just beautiful, here in the sky, much more pleasant 

than on the rotten earth below them. The nervousness in 

their minds briefly died down and Frank remembered the 

words of Mr. Wilden. 

„Japan!", he thought. „This land is far away and has nothing 

to do with us. Nevertheless...?" 

Perhaps it was a sign of hope, also for the rest of mankind, 

that one day the slave chains could be broken again. But it 

was so grim. The enemy had become more than superior in 


this age. The mass media danced his dance of fraud and lie 

without exception, and they flew each day new attacks on 

the brains of the people, like on cities, which were already 

destroyed and still had to be devasteted. 

The power of finance, the whole monetary system, was in 

the claws of the enemy since a long time. And with this 

weapon, he had crushed the world piece by piece. 

The military had been bought by him and he sent out his 

dull mercenaries, who seemed to have no more own will, 

against everyone, who tried to resist him. 

What would be in the future? The hangman's noose around 

the neck of mankind tigthened with every passing year more 

and more. Something had to be done, there was no doubt. 

„Japan!", said Baumer with a lack of understanding. 

„Wilden, the great analyst of world politics. I don't know, 

what I shall think about that." 

„ln any case, better than nothing!", it came out of the cockpit 

with Flemish accent. 

..We'll see what happens now!", answered Frank. 

„l will tell you what will happen next!", growled Alf. "Now, the 

Lodge Brothers will demoralize these stubborn Japanese. 

Slowly but surely. As they always do, if states dare to act 


It will begin with a worldwide press agitation, which will 

slander the Japanese to the bone. Then the economic 

boycott will come and in the end another war - or the 

Japanese will submit to the World Goverment again. That is 

an old and proven tactic." 

„But it could really be, that other countries will support 

Japan", returned Kohlhaas with a tang of confidence. 

„No, this is an illusion in my eyes!", answered Alf. ..This new 

president, this Matsumoto, should be a born samurai, in 

order to endure, what expects him and his people now. He 


should have nerves like steel cables and should always 
sleep with one eye open." 

..Let's hope that he has the spirit of his brave ancestors", 
said Frank. 

Anyhow, Japan's act of restoring its independence, was an 
incomprehensible boldness from the point of view of the 
World Government. The country had gone through hard 
times since the great crisis in 2013. Its export trade and the 
industry had collapsed and the national indebtedness had 
been so gigantic, that the highly technicalised country had 
almost broken down like a house of cards. The Japanese, 
who had successfully copied the European technology for a 
long time, had lost their commercial relevance in a few 

Japan's economy, the cornerstone of its new national pride 
after the Second World War, had declined. After 2018, it 
had still become worse and the island had turned into a 
bubbling cauldron full of discontent. While a great part of the 
nationalistic and traditional Japanese population had 
postulated the return to the "old way", the care for their 
culture and the preference of Japanese interests, the 
puppet government of Kaito Ikeda, who had been assigned 
by the World Government, had done the opposite. So the 
tensions had risen with time. 

Steffen de Vries switched on the digitized radio and a song 
of the Cyberpop Hipcore star Evan Steele resounded out of 
the cockpit, which soon got on Frank's and Alf's nerves. 
Then the news followed. 

First came a message about the World President, who had 
opened an „One-World-Kindergarten" in Washington, telling 
the listeners, that inattentiveness or rebellious behavior, 
particularly among little boys, had to be fought with new 
drugs. Early childhood disturbances had to be wiped out by 


the use of more pharmaceutical products and it was a holy 
assignment for all great humanists, to liberate the children 
of the world from these "diseases". 

The chief of the kindergarten was asked about this and 
seemed to be enthusiastic about the new medicines. Then a 
representative of a big pharmaceutical company gave an 
interview and announced that they intensively worked on a 
new drug programs for infants. 

The next topic was Japan and the newscaster said: „This 
morning, the World Government discussed further 
measures at their crisis meeting in New York, to handle with 
the fascist Japanese state. 

The World President and other prominent representatives of 
politics and economics, came to the decision, that the global 
community has to consider drastic measures, because of 
the increasing threat to all peaceable people. Matsumoto's 
Japan, where political dissidents are persecuted and 
murdered, has nuclear weapons and seems to be willing, to 
use them against the free world, as secret GSA reports 

The governor of the administrative sector ..Eastern Asia", 
Mr. Kim Bo-Hung, and his advisor Mr. David Frost, 
announced a hard course against Japan during the 

„We can not permit, that fascist polititians like Haruto 
Matsumoto become new cancerous ulcers in our peaceful 
and free world!", stressed the World President literally. 
GCF commander Edward McOwen said that a possible 
security zone has to be established around Japan and 
arranged the sending of warships of the GCF Pacific fleet to 
Eastern Asia. He exhorted all administrative districts and 
sub-sectors of the world community to watchfulness, in 
order to make fanatics and dictators like Matsumoto 
innocuous, before they become too powerful. The plan of 


Japan, to become independent from world economy, and 
also the intend to abolish the interest system, the World 
President castigated as a ..perverse act of a mad gone 

..What did I say?", muttered Baumer and smiled sufferingly. 
„Now it starts!" 

„We can only wish the Japanese good luck for the future. I 
hope, they have a thick skin. Now we have our own fight!", 
replied Frank. 

The airplane flew over Poland and came nearer to the 
sector ..Central Europe", while time passed. Meanwhile, the 
three men were seized by a growing nervosity. 
They talked quietly with each other, as if they would fear to 
be intercepted by an enormous ear in the sky. And actually 
the curious ears and eyes around them became more 
numerous. The countless radar and alarm systems, 
supervising the airspace, let Frank think of the spider net in 
his nightmare. ..Central Europe" was near. 
But nothing happened. Nobody noticed the inadvertent 
guests, who penetrated the completely supervised area. If 
someone had really scanned the flier, he had only found an 
insignificant name in the registration card index of the 
machine. The big eye looked past them, although they were 
directly in front of its pupil. The hours passed and Frank, 
Alfred and Steffen breathed again, when they crossed the 
old border of France and no radiogram of the air traffic 
control was sent. Compiegne was close now and the 
airplane started its final descent. 

Finally, they reached the ground without incidents, but a 
feeling of biggest uncertainty tormented them, when they 
stepped out of the airplane. It was like in former times, when 
the Europeans could still afford vacation travels to the 
southern countries. If they had left the cold north and had 


finally come out of the plane in the south, they had often 
been confronted with an unusual wall of stifling heat. Today 
it was different, because the wall, which waited for Frank 
and Alf here in the center of France, was not made of heat, 
it consisted of distrust. 

In his meticulous fashion, HOK had selected a small village, 
where there rebels should land. Far away from the attention 
of the natives. 

The Belgian had opted a large field near the village to land. 
Frank and Alf said goodbye and took their backpacks. Then 
de Vries took off again as fast as he could. 
For safety reasons he flew directly back to Ivas, because he 
didn't want to stay just one minute longer in such an 
extremely monitored zone. If he would have parked his 
plane somewhere in this rural area for seven days, the 
danger to be controlled by a police patrol would still have 
been small, but his nerves were raw. 
He had been relieved, when he had left the sector "Central 
Europe" with his Family in 2019 - never to be seen again. 
Perhaps, de Vries was a little too paranoid, and he also had 
a perfectly falsified Scanchip, but only the thought of being 
caught by the police filled him with panic. The Fleming had 
already been arrested in 2011, because of smuggling arms, 
and his name was still listed in all official databanks. Steffen 
and his family had suffered a lot in "Central Europe" and 
when he finally came back to Ivas, he was more than happy 
about this. 

Meanwhile, Frank and Alf stood on a field close to a small 
village near Compiegne - with full backpacks. Their hearts 
were pounding like mad. Now they were on their own, 
standing in the middle of enemy country. Therefore, it was 
important to behave inconspicuous. 
„We look like ramblers from the forest", muttered Alf. 


..Let's go to the village and then we will drive to Compiegne 

by bus. We still have to make it to Paris today!", explained 

Frank and felt uneasy. 

They walked along a dusty road, which led from the landing 

zone directly to the small village, always looking around. 

The load was heavy, everyone had to carry about 25 

kilograms, and they just hoped that no policeman would find 

them strange. 

However, the two rebels had some ordinary clothes. Frank 

wore some blue jeans and a dark green polo. Furthermore, 

a light gray baseball cap, which was pulled deeply into his 

face, covering his head. 

Baumer also wore blue jeans, a brown turtleneck pullover 

and a reddish baseball cap with the symbol of the the 

"Cleveland dead Indians". Under the trouser legs of the two 

men, black army boots could be seen, because firm 

footwear was essential on this mission. 

Their warm jackets had been stowed in the backpacks. 

They also had sunglasses in their bags, but the weather 

was sulky today, and so sunglasses would have looked not 

very inconspicuous. 

On the way to the village, they didn't see many people. Just 

an old man, who passed and briefly examined them. Apart 

from this, there was not a soul to be seen. However, the 

village didn't pulsate of life. Everything looked poorly and 

only a few inhabitants were on the street. Just a little boy on 

the opposite roadside, who shouted something in French, 

gave them a bit attention. But Frank and Alf didn't mind him. 

They went to a bus stop and drove with line 38 to 


..Just cut and run!", they thought to themselves. The bus 

driver had warily looked at them, when he had debited the 

amount for the trip from their Scanchips, Frank was sure. 

Alfred, however, protested that this hadn't been noticeable 


to him. Both were silent and tried to ignore the other 
passengers. They just sat in the last row of seats of the bus 
and were glad about everyone, who did not turn around to 
them. The bus driver talked with an older woman during the 
trip, and she probably told him her whole life story with wild 
gestures. „Oui!" and „Non!" it resounded through the shabby 
bus. Then the vehicle arrived at Compiegne. 

„Give me the DC-stick!", said Frank, after they had stepped 
off the bus. 

Anyhow they had already taken this small hurdle without 
any problems. Alfred ransacked his black backpack and 
pulled out a small data medium. On the DC-stick were the 
construction plans of the canalization of Paris and other 
files, also a map of Compiegne. 

„We are here, in the center. The rental car company is not 
far away. We can walk!", said Frank and nervously looked at 

Now they were surrounded by a lot of people. It was not like 
in the small village they came from. The two assassins were 
close to a shopping mile and masses of passersby were all 
over the place. But they didn't regard them, if at all only as 
tourists, and gave them no closer looks. Both men heard a 
tangle of languages beyond their ears, mainly French. 
Some children, probably Arabs, ran over the street and 
were screamed. At first sight, Compiegne was an ugly, gray 
and dirty city. At second sight, it was still more disgusting! 
The shopping mile was full of beggars and homeless 
people, who hung around in the corners, wrapped in covers 
and drunk. An old man roared loudly with a babbling voice 
and threw his bottle of cheap liquor on the asphalt. 
Somewhere, someone tried to play on a guitar and sang flat 
to get some Globes. It was just odious here. But where was 
it still pleasant in this age? Anyhow, Kohlhaas and Baumer 


hit the road immediately to reach the rental car company in 
time. It was already after 17.00 o'clock and they had to 
hurry up. 

Frank noticed that the people around him walked with a 
stoop, as if they would have an interest to look like midgets. 
Their faces reflected poverty, many looked ill and pale. The 
two Germans were regarded by nobody and silently walked 
down the street. Shortly afterwards, they passed some 
abandoned shops. Probably there had been a flourishing 
retail trade in former times, but this was long ago. 
Meanwhile, the shopwindows of the dirty houses in the 
center of Compiegne looked dead and dusty. The downfall 
of a once beautiful city was obvious. 

What had remained, were the cheap supermarkets of 
„Globe Food" and „3X6 Market", which supplied Europe and 
North America with their bad food. 

Here, the homeless people clustered. They gestured, 
shouted, brought new liquor out of the supermarket and also 
vomited, when they were drunk enough. From the other end 
of the long shopping street, which had already lost its gloss, 
suddenly came a loud scream. A young man had stabbed 
one of the derelicts, people ran around and started to yell. 
Frank and Alfred walked faster, if a police car emerged. 
A little later, they had reached the rental car company, 
which lay in a halfdark backyard. A sturdy man with a beard 
waited for them behind a desk and lolled on his chair. The 
two rebels entered his office. Now it became thrilling, 
because Frank had to use his falsified Scanchip for the first 

„We want a car. We want to go to Paris!", said Alfred. 

The Frenchman, who probably had a lot of contact with 

tourists, looked up and fetched some papers. 


„Oui! You want to go to Paris? Okay!", he answered and 


„Eh... Yes!", added Frank. „Which car do you want? A 

normally car, a combi, a van?", enumerated the renter. 

„Normal car!", answered Alf. 

„Which type?", asked the man. 

„Tell that asshole that it is all the same to me. I want to 

leave this place as fast as I can!", hissed Kohlhaas quietly. 

Alf nodded. 

„lt doesn't matter. Any normal car!", said Baumer. 

„Okay! Where are you from?", nerved the Frenchman. 

„Austria...from Austria!", stammered Frank. His heart 

pounded and his hands felt sweaty. 

„Ah! Aus Osterreich!", joked the man and tried to talk 


„Ja!", answered Alfred. 

The renter stood up from his chair and waved the two rebels 


„Come on!", he called. „Here! This car you can have." 

The friendly man showed Frank and Alf a black and no 

longer new "Lion". 

„ls der gut?", he asked, grinned and was pleased that he 

had made it, to speak German. 

„Yes! We take this car!", answered Frank, whose back 

began to hurt, because of his heavy load. 

„Okay, we go to the office. Than pay with Scanchip!", said 

the renter and walked off. 

"Now we will see...", whispered Alf. 

„How long do you want to lease the car?", asked the man 

from the next room and typed something. 

„Till the second of march!", said Alf. 

"Okay!", it came back. 

The Frenchman took the two Scanchips and pulled them 

over a reader. 


„A car is 40 Globes a day, my friends!", he explained. 

„Okay!", breathed Frank and looked at Alf with fear in his 


The reader hummed quietly and for the two men the world 

seemed to stop turning for some seconds. The tension let 

their hearts pump faster and the adrenalin shot through their 


Then the Frenchman looked up and smiled friendly: „Thank 

you, Mr. Eberharter and Mr. Willner. Take your car. Have 

much fun in Paris! Haben Sie vielen Spaft in Paris, mein 

Herren! Ha, ha!" 

The two rebels took a deep breath, walked fastly to their 

car, threw the heavy bags into the trunk and disappeared. 

The trip to Paris was more pleasant than in former times. 
There were no more traffic jams of considerable size, 
because the number of cars had increasingly been reduced 
in the last years. 

The breakdown of the automobile industry had begun in the 
year 2009 and in 2029, cars were luxury articles for the 
ordinary people. Who could hardly ensure, that there was 
enough food on his plate, had no more Globes to fund a car. 
Government officials and other higher earners, who still 
could afford a car, were an exception. Moreover, the prices 
for gasoline had drastically risen, particularly since 2018. 
Meanwhile, a car devoured big sums of money. 
Alternative energies, which could have replaced the 
gasoline, were still suppressed by the oil industry and the oil 
lords had still all the power, to exterminate any rivals in this 
sector. In 2019, a worldwide wave of liquidations by the 
GSA had hit many scientists and entrepreneurs, who 
wanted to offer free energies. So the traffic jams slowly 
vanished, and that was a real advantage on this day, 
because the two rebels could nearly "enjoy" their trip to 


Paris. However, the motorways and streets were in a 
catastrophic condition. The administrative district ..Central 
Europe" used its income for more important things than to 
repair streets, for example, an improved monitoring or an 
extended armament. 

It lasted for a while, until the two men had found the hotel, 
which HOK had chosen for them. The streets of Paris 
appeared endlessly and darkly, and if one didn't know this 
labyrinth of lanes, it was easy to go astray. 
The hotel was called ..Sunflower" and was in the east of 
Paris. At 20,30 o'clock, the exhausted men finally arrived 
and parked their car behind the buidling. In the hotel, a 
pretty Frenchwoman with light brown hair and a girlish face 
was waiting for them. 

She was very friendly, but somehow busy and reticent. 
However, this was no problem, because unnecessary talk 
with other people had to be strictly avoided. Frank and Alf 
just told her, that they were tourists from Austria. 
The Scanchips functioned perfectly again. This was the way 
it should be. Then, the two men brought their heavy and 
explosive luggage to room 16 on the 2nd floor. Frank and 
Alf didn't see many other guests on this evening. Only an 
older woman, who greeted them in French. That was all. 
They closed the door behind themselves and fell on their 
beds, which were covered with a brown duvet. Soon this 
day had come to an end and the two rebels were just glad 
about this. 

Now they were in Paris, but the real trip to hell was still 
waiting for them. Nevertheless, Frank and Alf banished this 
fact from their minds at this evening. 


Aux Champs-Elysees 

Aux Champs-Elysees 

Aux Champs-Elysees 

Au soleil, sous la pluie 

A midi ou a minuit 

II y a tout ce que vous voulez 

Aux Champs-Elysees... 

(French version, 1969) 

Oh Champs-Elysees 

Oh Champs-Elysees 

Sonne scheint, Regen rinnt 

Ganz egal, wir beide sind 

So froh, wenn wir uns wiederseh'n 

Oh Champs-Elysees... 

(German cover version, 1969) 

Oh Champs-Elysees 
Oh Champs-Elysees 
Sonne scheint, Regen rinnt 
Wechsler, du wirst mich nicht sehfn 
und bald vor deinem Schopfer stehf n ! 
Oh Champs-Elysees... 

(Modified version by Frank Kohlhaas, 2029) 


Although they were in the middle of a strongly monitored 
city in ..Central Europe", and the enemy could lie in wait at 
each corner, Frank and Alf slept quite well. At first, Frank 
remembered this old French song, which was occasionally 
played on the radio. He changed the text of the German 
version in a way that it was suitable to the situation. 
Kohlhaas chuckled quietly, till the sleep had overpowered 

The beginning of the next day could not be avoided and 
there were only eight days till the "Festival of the new 
World", which should come over the old "Avenue de 

There was still enough time to get an idea of the situation, 
and to explore the dark sewer tunnels, which they had 
selected as their way to the security zone. This procedure 
was also very necessary, because there was no room in 
their plan for unexpected incidents, collapsed tunnels or 
blocked ways. 

Frank and Alf spent the first day in Paris in their hotel room 
and avoided to leave the building. Only once, Alf bought 
something to eat in a nearby supermarket and told his friend 
about the dirty streets he had walked down. Apart from that, 
they spent their time with watching TV. The news, which 
were mostly agitation against Japan, brought them several 
outbreaks of rage. For the next day, more exactly for the 
next night, both men had planned something really bold. At 
two o'clock in the morning, the two rebels sneaked out of 
their hotel room and passed the abandoned reception. 
In the darkness of the next street corner, Frank hastily took 
his DC-Stick and opened the city map of Paris, which HOK 
had completed with additional informations. Like two 
shades, they crept around the houses and moved silently 
from one dark place to the next. It was raining and Alf 
suggested to postpone the operation to the following day, 


but Frank did not want to waste anymore time and remained 
stubborn. „The Rue Lagille, it is not far away from here!", 
whispered Kohlhaas and showed his friend the map. 
„We are just crazy, man!", answered Baumer. 
„Of course!" Frank grinned. „And now, let's hurry up!" 
They went to a dark corner again and studied some 
construction plans. Meanwhile, the heavy rain had stopped 
and just dabbled quietly one the roofs of the houses around 
them. The streets were empty, only a few probably Algerian 
teenagers, who occasionally roared through the night or 
kicked against garbage cans and bus stop signs, could be 
seen in the distance. However, the two rebels were not 
noticeable to them. It was after three o'clock, when they 
finally reached their goal. 

..Let's look for an entrance here", whispered Frank. 
„Shit, what am I doing here?", sighed his friend and fetched 
a small crowbar, which he kept hidden under his jacket. 
..Come on now!", hissed Kohlhaas. 

A car drove past them and an old woman, standing at a 
brightly illuminated window, gazed at the dark and wet 
street. Frank and Alf had noticed her and decided to creep 
inconspicuously away. 

..Look! She can see us! We have to go!", growled Frank and 
Alf followed him. 

..Let's go to the next street, there are only some houses on 
one side. And there is an abandoned factory building, 
according to the plan", whispered the young man with the 
DC-Stick in his hand. 

Shortly afterwards, they reached a nearly perfect dark back 
alley. Now they felt unobserved. Anyhow, they could not see 
anybody, although they looked around several times and 
examined the environment with sharp eyes. A minute later 
they stood in front of a gully cover of iron. It was clearly 


visible shown on one of HOK's maps of the city of Paris. 

They paused for a short moment. 

„This must be gully cover 344-GL-77003, if the map is 

correct", said Frank with a little enthusiastic face. „Down 

there? Now? Damn! " 

„No turning back, Kohlhaas!", answered Alf and already 

screwed up his nose. 

They lifted the manhole cover without problems and pushed 

it to the side. In front of them, an unfathomable black hole 

opened itself now. Only the outlines of some rusty rungs, 

leading into the darkness, could be recognized. 

„Fuck!", said Frank. 

Baumers nodded approvingly, then he held his flashlight 

downward. Dirt, rotten leaves and rust expected the two 

assassins down below. Moreover, a pungent stench. 

"Oh my God!", said Kohlhaas and took his rubber gloves 
and the breathing mask. "Do you have the blowtorch, Alf?" 
"Yes, sure! What are you waiting for?", muttered Baumer. 
Frank carefully climbed down the rusty ladder, while Alf was 
shining for him. After a few minutes, he had reached the 

„Baaah!", it resounded out of the dark hole. 
His partner could imagine, what Frank meant. Then 
Kohlhaas shone for Alf, who crawled down into the 
unknown, little inviting environment of the underground of 
Paris. Baumer pulled the gully cover over the manhole, so 
that only a small gap remained. Down here, it was as 
disgusting as expected, and the channel did not make the 
impression, as if someone had ever cleaned it in the last 
twenty years. Wet heaps of dirt were piled up beside the 
rivlet, down to the feet of the two men. Some rats scurried 
away. Alf shone at them with his flashlight and the animals 
quickly disappeared somewhere in a stinking hole. 


„l_ook at this, gentlemen of the World Government are also 

here!", joked Frank and pointed at the rats. 

Alf chuckled. „Here will be a lot of them. If you see a 

completely fat and bloated rat, then you can address it with 

„Mr. World President"!" 

Frank grinned and returned: „To compare these poor 

animals with the Lodge Brothers, is an insult for every rat!" 

The gossip took a bit of the uncertainty of the two rebels, 

who stood now in the middle of an ugly sewer tunnel. Frank 

looked at his map again and then they walked about 

hundred meters straightforward. 

They had to watch out for their heads, because the tunnel 

was not as tall as a man and surely already very old. Soon 

after, both men came to a bigger canal and heard a car 

above themselves. They were under a street. The little river 

of wastewater was a bit broader here, just like the roundish 

tunnel. Now they had to come to a decision. 

„lf the map is correct, we must go to the left", said Frank 

after a short look at the DC-Stick. 

„lt will hopefully be correct, otherwise we are fucked up", 

grumbled Baumer. 

„There is always a gully cover somewhere, that can bring us 

back to the surface", said Frank and walked forward, waving 

with his flashlight. Meanwhile, Alfred sprayed a red cross on 

the wall, in order to use it later as an orientation. 

The broader sewer tunnel still extended for about two 

hundred meters, then they came to a grid, clogged with dirt 

and leaves, which was completely rusted. There was no 

getting through. At least, not without a blowtorch, which 

Alfred fortunately had. It just took a quarter of an hour, then 

he had destroyed the rusty lattice. 

„What a work!", gasped Alf, when the dammed up water 

poured away between his legs with loud splashing. 


The tunnel with the old grid still extended for two hundred 
further meters, then it ended in a larger room, where the rills 
of wastewater flowed together. Gray-green walls gazed at 
the two intruders and Frank was sure, that these old 
buildings already existed since many decades, maybe since 

Rusty wastewater pipes came from the ceiling of the room 
and on the wall was a sign with something in French on it. It 
was completely rusted too. 

At least, they could stand tall here. The way forked again in 
several directions. Frank looked at some files and was sure 
that they had to go into the opposite tunnel, Alfred trusted 
him and sprayed another red cross on the wall. 
„One of these sewer corridors had not been on our map, but 
this must be the right one! Above it, is the "Rue de 
Rothschild", as I think", explained Kohlhaas. 
Shortly afterwards, they walked through a narrow passage 
with some big holes in the walls. Spiders and rats welcomed 
them in this dark tunnel and it was smelling rancidly, despite 
the breathing masks. 

Frank and Alf had to crouch again and watched their heads. 
Meanwhile, they had walked this tunnel for about fifty 
meters, when they discovered a small source of light above 
themselves. Probably it was the light of one of the street 
lamps, which came through a little hole of a gully cover. 
They continued to creep through the stinking passage, then 
they stopped. A black water lode with a very narrow 
sidewalk on the side was in front of them, it was 
approximately one meter deep. In the distance of ten 
meters, rusty and damaged iron pipes led upward. Alfred 
marked the way and followed his friend along the stream. 
The water was not really deep, but it smelled foul and 
appeared somehow threatening. Frank thought that a 
terrible kraken would grab them with its tentacles to pull 


them down into a bottomless black sea. It was just spooky 

down here and the stench crept out of every corner right 

into their noses. 

„lf I have counted my steps correctly, we have walked about 

600 or 700 meters yet", said Baumer. 

His friend looked at the digital map and nodded. At the end 

of the tunnel, they reached a relatively big room, which 

looked like a reservoir. Stairs led upward and a large pool 

with brackish water was in front of them. 

Frank illuminated the basin, then he said to Alfred: ..HOK's 

informations have mostly been correct so far. This reservoir 

or whatever it is, has been marked with a red spot on the 

map. You should spray a sign on the wall here!" 

After they had crossed the next tunnel, they had penetrated 

the underground labyrinth for more than one kilometer. 

Then they reached an area, which reminded them of a small 

hall. It must have been a part of the world-famous 

canalization of Paris, which had been built in the year 1850 

and during the following period. With a tang of admiration, 

the two men stopped for a moment and looked around. 

Then they continued their journey. 

„This must be pumps over there, right?" Alfred pointed at 

several enormous pipes with big handwheels on the side, 

that led into a deep water reservoir. However, they also 

were totally rusted, although they seemed to be still in use. 

J think so!", answered Frank. „This hall is probably in the 

east of the "Avenue of Humanity". I think the street is less 

than two kilometers far from here. This place is noticeable 

enough, we don't need to mark it." 

Alfred put the spray can with the red color back into his 

backpack and followed his friend. They went up some 

concrete stairs with a handrail on the side. Then they 

entered big room, that nearly looked like an underground 

hall and was carried by stone columns. Soon after, Frank 


and Alf went to the right and walked through a narrow, long 


..HOK's informations have been right yet", said Kohlhaas. 

„The construction plans of the canalization of the inner city 

seem to be still exact." 

„Well, the World Government has just taken over this 

ancient and singular sewerage. They would never build 

something for the people!", remarked Alf. 

„This sewer network has been built by hardworking men and 

not by dirty parasites!", hissed Frank and waved his friend 


„Look! There is a locked door. It obstructs the way, which 

we have to take", said Frank and pointed at a dark corner of 

the hall. Alfred fetched his blowtorch, but didn't destroy the 

door more than necessary, in order to arouse no suspicion. 

The tunnel beyond the locked door seemed to be endless, 

and after a while the two men discovered a hole in the wall. 

But there was no sewer corridor anywhere. 

„What is that? It looks, as if somebody had broken some 

stones out of the wall there, to dig a way", said Frank and 

illuminated the strange hole with his flashlight. „Over there! 

Look, there is another tunnel! Can you see it?" 

Behind the hole seemed to be a large shaft. In the last 

years, many homeless people had revamped the 

underworld of Paris at their own discretion and had 

extended the endless tunnel system. They had found a sad 

home here, in a time, when there was no more room for 

them at the surface. Kohlhaas looked at his DC-stick and 

read some files. It lasted nearly half an hour. In the 

meantime, Alfred sauntered boredly and nervously through 

the darkness. 

„This could be an abandoned metro shaft!", explained 



„ln the inner city of Paris, the sewer corridors, tunnels and 
passages are sometimes hardly ten meters away from each 
other. I will take a closer look!" 

Alfred already saw the back of his friend, who jumped into 
the little cavity and soon shone with the flashlight in his 
direction. Kohlhaas called him out of the dark tunnel and 
seemed to be excited. 

„Come on!", he whispered. J can see tracks. You see, I was 

Baumer also crept through the hole and the two men 
followed the tracks. Perhaps they could find an abbreviation, 
if this metro shaft was really the marked path on HOICs 

It lasted a while, because the abandoned tunnel extended 
over several hundred meters. Suddenly they heard a gasp 
somewhere in the darkness. They twinced and turned 
around, looking in all directions. The vein in Frank's temple 
began to pound and also Alfred nervously brandished his 

The gasp could be heard again and the two rebels searched 
for the source of noise. Finally they saw a man, who lay in a 
dark corner. Probably a derelict, old and ugly, with a reddish 
beard, a shabby trench coat and some brandy bottles in 
front of him. The underground inhabitant blinked dazedly, 
when Baumer hit him with the blaze of his flashlight. 
„Ca va?", slurred the old man. 
"What?", stammered Frank nervously. 
"Ca va?", repeated the drunk. "Ca va?" 
"All right, grandpa! We will go now!", said Alf and turned 
"Ca va?" 

„Shut the fuck up, man!", hissed Frank toward the tramp and 
pulled his gun. 


"Frank, what do you...?", asked Baumer. „Put that gun 


„lf he tells someone that we have been down here or 

remembers our faces...", growled Frank excitedly and 

brandished his weapon. 

„This guy is just drunk. Leave him alone! Or do you want to 

kill him?", grumbled Alf at his friend. 

"Ca va?", burped the tramp again. 

"Shut up, you dirty old jerk! Don't make such a noise! 

Otherwise I will give you some „Ca va"!", screamed Frank 

and kicked the man in the side. 

The tramp whined quietly and whispered something in 

French. Kohlhaas pressed the pistol against his nose. "Just 

shut up, man! Or you won't survive this!" 

At this moment, Alfred pulled the furious young man 

energetically back and shoved him away. 

„What is wrong with you, Frank? Are you mad? That old guy 

will say nothing. Hundreds of homeless people hang around 

here and nobody is interested in the babble of an old tramp! 

Let's go back through the tunnels! It's time to disappear!" 

Frank slowly calmed down and put his gun away. He had 

nearly shot or stabbed this old man. Alfred gave him 

another stroke in the side and looked at him with lack of 


„lt's enough for now!", he said. ..Otherwise, I will become 

angry! We disappear from here! Come on!" 

Frank just followed his friend and was silent. At once, the 

whole thing was embarrassing to him and Alfred 

reprimanded him again, with sharp words, to control his 

rage next time. „He was nevertheless nothing but a drunk 

grandpa, man!", he grumbled. 

„Okay, I may have overreacted...", answered Frank and 

looked away. 


When they went back and crept again through the dark 
sewer system, Frank had to admit himself, that he had been 
close to kill this bum. That he was a safety risk, could 
perhaps be an argument, but only a superficial, because it 
was more than improbable that anybody would be 
interested in the twaddle of a drunk tramp from the 
underground of Paris. 

Nevertheless, he had almost killed this man, simply cut his 
throat, to let him rot in the darkness of the old metro shaft. 
Yes, it had almost happened, if Alfred had not stopped him. 
Frank thought about himself... 

Frank and Alf did not continue to explore the abandoned 
tunnel, in which the drunk man had lain. They crept again 
back through the hole and Kohlhaas took his DC-stick out of 
the backpack. Meanwhile, the two men were tired and Paris 
seemed to wake up above them. The honking of cars and 
the rumble slowly became louder. 

„lt probably goes on here. After the next two passages there 
is another room with reservoirs - or whatever!", explained 
Frank and went into the next tunnel. 

Alfred sprayed a red cross on the wall beside the hole, 
which led into the metro shaft and followed his easily 
excitable rebel friend. 

They still walked through stinking, but this time bigger sewer 
corridors, that had small and smelly rivers inside. Baumer 
looked at Frank's back and was still annoyed. Meanwhile, 
they had advanced still deeper into the underground. Finally 
they found a second underground hall, which was also hold 
by stone columns. The wastewater was collected here in 
large basins and was moreover rerouted in several 
directions. The basins were covered with large grids of iron 
and there was a footpath with some stairs, that was secured 
with a banister rail. Here one could probably come to a 


control room. Several water pumps and pipes were all 

around them. On the walls, they recognized lamps and thick 

cables. Also some crates had been piled up there. This 

large and long room seemed to be used very often, because 

it was directly below the inner city. But around this time it 

was empty. The two men crept further forward. 

The old brick walls and the stone archs had something 

formidable. Now they recognized some iron stairs, which led 

up the wall and ended in a dark hole. At the end of the hall, 

there was a rusted steel door with a lamp above it. 

„Look at this enormous room! It had already been built in the 

good old times. Really impressing!", whispered Alfred. 

"Yes, a very big hall below the earth. Like the old „Moria" in 

that film. Just smaller...", said Frank. 

„Moria?", asked Baumer and was puzzled. „What do you 

mean with that?" 

„Well, there is an old fantasy film. My father had once 

brought me a video tape, when I was still a little boy. It was 

called „The Lord of the Rings". In that movie, the heroes had 

to pass an underground labyrinth too - and it was called 

„Moria". An giant underground city, built by the dwarves in 

the ancient times of Middle-earth...", described Kohlhaas. „l 

really loved that film!" 

„You are a dwarf too, ha, ha!", answered Alf and smiled. 

„Where are we here?" 

A look at the map seemed to be necessary now. Probably 

the steel door at the end of the vault led into a bigger area, 

from where the men could reach the "Avenue of Humanity". 

J hope that there will be no workers of the public utilities", 

whispered Alfred. It was already after five o'clock in the 

morning. „We must hurry up!" 

"Maybe the workers are more often here, than in the areas 

behind us", answered Frank quietly. 


The steel door was secured with a digital code lock. Apart 
from that, the door looked old and was strongly rusted. The 
dark green paint on its surface had already peeled. Alfred 
started working immediately. He used his blowtorch, but the 
door was very solid. 

Baumer had to destroy a big part of the lock and needed 
nearly half an hour to open it. Meanwhile, Frank looked 
nervously around and hoped that nobody would disturb 

Finally, the steel door opened with a quiet crunch and the 
two assassins came into another room, which was equipped 
with some shelves and an electronic control desk. The old 
desk reminded them of the seventies of the last century, 
because of its design. It was a true relict of technology. 
Soon after, they left the area over some stone stairs and 
sneaked over a way with deep water reservoirs at the sides. 
Finally they disappeared again in one of the sewer tunnels, 
because Frank believed, that he had found this passage on 
HOK's map. Alf marked the way and they continued with 
their search. 

„The "Avenue of Humanity" is no longer far!", called 
Kohlhaas and disappeared into another dark hole. 
They walked about hundred meters straightforward and 
turned then to the left into a further sewer corridor. Again, it 
was one of the bigger tunnels, because a small river rushed 
beside them here. Now they saw numerous cables, rusty 
lamps, old pipes and also a faded sign with some warnings. 
A little later, both men stood in front of the next grid, which 
blocked their way. Alfred's blowtorch cut through the rusty 
metal and he threw a glowing piece of the grid into the 
water. After further hundred meters, a rat swarm, which had 
probably held a meeting here, fled from the blaze of their 
flashlights in all directions. Then the old brick ceilings 


became higher and they reached a hall with an enormous 
water pump and a large basin in its center. 
While the two rebels felt safe in the narrow and dark sewer 
corridors, which led through the underground of Paris, they 
had the impression of being observed in the larger rooms 
and halls. 

Here they could have encountered another derelict or a 
worker of the public utilities. But it was still very early in the 
morning and nobody, except for the two rebels, seemed to 
be here. From a distance, they suddenly heard the 
thundering of an arriving metro. That was a good sign. 
„Charles de Gaulle!", whispered Frank and leaned against a 
large, gray column. „lt must be the underground station 
Charles de Gaulle. It is close to the "Temple of Tolerance". 
We have almost reached our goal!" 

The two men looked at the map again, then they climbed 
down an iron ladder and disappeared into a larger tunnel, 
which led them towards the source of noise. The way 
through this passage was long, monotonous and stinky. It 
seemed to lead many hundred meters into nothing. Frank 
reassured Alf that it was no longer far. 
Only one last sewer corridor had to be passed now. Then 
they would be directly below the square, that had once been 
decorated by the Arc de Triomphe. Again, they heard the 
noise of a metro, speeding through the earth. The two 
rebels had crept through the guts of Paris with success. 
Frank and Alf were proud. 

Beside them, a rusty ladder led upward to a dirty gully 
cover, where armies of black spiders were waiting for them, 
as a closer look proved. A little later it was done. The 
"Temple of Tolerance" was directly above their heads. Cars 
were humming and honking on the heavily travelled street, 
and they heard some people shout. Paris awoke. 


Now it was time to disappear. Frank jumped up the ladder 

like a cat, climbed upward and lifted the gully cover to look 

over the square. Frank smiled grimly. They had finally made 

their way through the canalization - it was possible! 

From the corner of his eye Kohlhaas could recognize an 

outside wall of the ugly concrete monument, that looked like 

a huge pyramid. 

"We have arrived! Great!", said Frank joyfully and climbed 

down the ladder again. 

"Over there! Look! About thirty meters away from me!" 

Alfred pointed at the darkness of the sewer corridor next to 

him. "We will place the bomb there and send Wechsler to 

hell! The explosion will be strong enough to tear up a big 

part of the square in front of the monument!" 

"Yes! We will fucking do that!", muttered Frank with a 

poisonous smile. 

"And now we have to move our asses out of this 

canalization!", he added and both men headed back. With 

growing internal confidence and contentment, the two rebels 

slunk off. 

Occasionally, Frank had to study some construction plans 

again, but mostly his sense of direction was right. The red 

crosses, Alfred had sprayed on the walls, were a good 

additional help. Perfectly tired, stinky and filthy, they finally 

crept out of the sewer tunnel next to the abandoned factory 

hall in the early morning hours. Soon they would spend 

many hours in the canalization again. 

On their way back to the hotel, at dawn, no one noticed 

them. Indeed their clothes were dirty, but this was not 

unusual in Paris. There were a lot of filthy guys in the 

streets of this metropolis. A warm hotel room was waiting for 

them and it was silent on the unlit floor. They just closed the 

door behind them and looked forward to a hot shower. 

Frank and Alf had no longer had this luxury since years, and 


both enjoyed the water, washing all the dirt and the stench 
away from their bodies. Then they quickly fell asleep. Soon 
the great day would come. The day of bloody revenge. And 
Frank looked forward to his payback... 


The Lull before the Storm 

Frank and Alfred left the small hotel ..Sunflower" in the 

following days always alternating, in order to buy some food 

in the nearby supermarkets. They never ate in the small 

dining room of the hotel together with the other guests and 

avoided every contact to them. Only in their hotel room, they 

took their meals, which were usually produced by the 

"Globe Food" grocery chain. 

The television was on, all day long, and overwhelmed them 

with dull entertainment and repetitions of old movies, 

interrupted by the hourly news. In this context, it was 

interesting to see, how the World Government dealt with the 

renegade state of Japan. At an interval of a few hours, the 

newest reports came over the air. 

Japanese were interviewed, who allegedly had left the 

country, ..before Matsumotos firing squads could execute 

them", because they had fought for peace" and 

"freedom". Ron Baldwin, the not very trustworthy looking 

advisor of puppet governor Ikeda, who had also been blown 

off the country, appeared in nearly each newscast. 

He whined and stressed his ..great sorrows about the new 

Japan", that he had learned to love soo much, since he had 

come to the island in 2020, as a manager of the Greenbaum 

Brothers Bank 

He tried to look dismayed and affected to convince even the 

ignorant viewers. Nevertheless, it was his job to lie in front 

of the telecameras and he seemed to be eager to play his 


Eight great warships had been sent to the eastern seas of 

Japan by the GCF high command, in order to observe the 

situation. Furthermore, the World President had demanded 


an ultimatum to the island people. They had to return to the 

World Union until the end of the month. 

"Otherwise, unpleasant consequences for the Matsumoto 

regime could follow!", he threatened on television. 

The media concealed that the new president of Japan had 

come to power by the will of his people. He had been voted 

by over eighty percent of the Japanese population. 

Meanwhile, the Japanese had abolished any further 

elections, and Matsumoto called democracy a "giant play of 

mass manipulation". 

Moreover, the new president controlled himself and let all 

representatives and ambassadors of the World Government 

leave the country. And Matsumoto did not lay a finger on 


However, during the rebellion it had come to spontaneous 

lynchings by the furious people. Some Japanese had just 

taken revenge on those persons, who had exploited them 

for many years and had destroyed their country. The most 

"global parasites", as many Japanese called them, had 

been killed in Tokyo and Osaka. 

But the "fascist Matsumoto" was responsible for all this, in 

the eyes of the international media. Therefore, they 

unleashed a furious hate campaign against the rebellious 

Asians. Soon after, it changed to an irate and hysterical 

choir of slander and lies. A military intervention, however, 

was "currently not planned", according to the words of the 

World President. The newscasters tried to calm the viewers, 

but the whole thing smelled like war. 

„We will see!", thought Frank. 

„Now in your KCN-Shop! Call 070023456 and get him! 
Sergeant Powers, your supersoldier! He fights them all, 
yeah!", resounded a pithy voice out of the television. A hand 
was waving with an action figure - Sergeant Powers. 


..Terrorists, fascists, evil people! Sergeant Powers finishes 

them all! Get your Sergeant now and annihilate the evil 

forces! Only 19.95 Globes, here in your KCN-Shop or in 

every toyshop, yeah!", it came out of the tube. 

Then the voice kindly told the kids, that they could borrow 

some money at the "KCN Bank for Children", if their parents 

would not have the Globes for Sergeant Powers. But only 

for children, who were already six years old. 

„Oh, shit!", sighed Alf. ..Turn it off!" 

„ln a few minutes, I want to watch "The Little Whisperer" on 

KCN. I always wanted to have a look at this brainwash 

show for children." 

..Please not...", answered Baumer disgustedly. 

Shortly afterwards, KCN (Kid Control Network), the biggest 

telestation for children worldwide, started its famous show, 

called "The Little Whisperer". 

Some years ago, KCN had started the series. Meanwhile, it 

had mutated to a blockbuster, which was also watched by 

the adult population and had extremely high viewing figures. 

Nevertheless, the actual target audience of the telecast was 

the younger generation. Since some time, the absurd show 

could be watched in innumerable languages and on all 


Frank and thereafter also Alf, who could not successfully 

hide himself from the acoustic irradiation of the television, 

stared eagerly, and at the same time distastefully, at the 

screen: Now it was time for „The Little Whisperer"! 

A slimy presenter with flashing white teeth and an also 

flashing white suit, opened the show and the audience of 

little children cheered loudly. 

„Hey, kids! Tm Funny Paul! Who of are you?", he called 


"We are the kids!", roared the children and raved with great 



Every show of "The Little Whisperer" started in that manner. 
This was the German version, which could also be received 
here in Paris, together with approximately 700 other TV 
shows from all over the world. The camera swivelled around 
and showed alternating children of different nationalities. 
The „One-World" - on television it was cute at first sight. 
Then, all candidates of today's show were presented: The 
little Tina from Bitterfeld, Tommy from Hamburg, Robin from 
Bremen, Gulay from Bochum, Kim Song from somewhere 

Anyhow, the children screamed full of joy and Alf moaned: 
„Turn it off! Please!" 

But Frank remained hard. At least, he just wanted to watch 
one show of the series, the two policemen had talked about, 
when they had transported him to "Big Eye" at that time. 
After a while, the presenter called for the little Tina, a sweet 
blondie with braids and a cunning smile. 
"You know, Tina, officer Bark and I must always pay 
attention that people say no bad things about our World 
President. Therefore, we also need the many children here 
to help us. You have told us last week, that your papa has 
said something very bad about our uncle World President. 
And you want to win your pony today, right?", said the 
presenter and grinned . 

"Yes, please, Funny Paul!", begged the little Tina and cast 
up her nice blue eyes. 

„lf you have caught your daddy, making a very bad 
statement, then officer Bark and I are more than proud of 
you, because you have really helped us", whispered Funny 
Paul and turned to the audience. „Now, Tina will tell all 
these very bad words to our friend! And who is our friend?" 
„The big Eeeeaaarrr!", screamed the children and stamped 
their applause. 


A big ear of plastic was brought on the stage and the small 

Tina uncertainly looked at it. 

„Okay, Tina! The big ear is your friend, you can tell 

everything!", said the presenter to the little girl. 

J... I will do...", said Tina and smiled bashfully. J will tell 


Then she whispered to the big plastic ear: „Daddy has said, 

the uncle World President is...ehmm...a swine and the 

World President... ehmmm... should be shot!" 

She still told this and that, and apparently she had even 

written a lot of things on a small slip. The moderator 

encouraged her, to tell everything at all. It would remain 

their secret, and except for the audience and millions of 

other viewers, nobody else would ever hear it. Everything 

the little Tina said, was shown at the bottom of the screen. 

„Oh!", shouted Funny Paul. „Your daddy really said all this?" 

„Hmmm..., answered the child. 

„Then your dad is not healthy. He is ill. I believe, we have to 

help him, but we will ask him first. Now, we will ask Tina's 

daddy!", called Funny Paul and waved his hands. 

„Jaaaaaaa!", cheered the audience. Suddenly the cameras 

switched live to a room, in which Mr. Notmeier, Tina's 

father, sat behind a table. 

He apparently was not very happy and smiled fearfully at 

the telecameras. Then Funny Paul interviewed him to the 

remarks, his daughter wanted to have heard and her father 

tried to make some excuses. But he behaved more than 

bumbling and finally started to stammer. 

Shortly afterwards, some other candidates had a turn: 

Tommy, Kim Song and a few more. They told the big plastic 

ear all the "bad words" and politically incorrect remarks they 

had heard from their parents, neighbors or relatives. Then 

came the final. 


„Who has been the best „Bad-Word-Detective" of today's 

show?", shouted Funny Paul through the hall. 

The children were allowed to vote and made Tina to the 

best „Bad-Word-Detective" of this day. 

„Tina! Tina! Tina! Tina!", it resounded out of the tube. The 

little girl finally won a pony and fell down on her knees, 

bursting with joy. Her was casually told by Funny Paul, that 

her dad had to go to a "hotel" for a long time. The doctors 

would do everything to help him, assured the presenter. 

But the joy about her new pony was much too big, and Tina 

probably heard this sentence only with half an ear. Then a 

man in a dog costume and a police uniform came down 

some stairs, went on the stage and welcomed his cheering 


It was officer Bark, who was hunting „bad words" all day 

long, in order to make the world a better place, as Funny 

Paul mentioned. He brandished his police club, his 

oversized hands of foam and his big handcuffs. The children 


At the end of the show, he sang the "One-World-Song" with 

them. Funny Paul smiled at the telecameras and in the 

background, the little Tina was leaping for joy about her new 

pony like a bouncy ball. It all ended with some commercials 

for kids. Frank and Alf were disturbed. 

In the night from 26. on 27. February, Frank and Alfred 
alternately kept guard at the window of their hotel room and 
checked the equipment. At three o'clock in the morning, 
they were finally ready to go. The rebels strapped their 
backpacks on, left the hotel room and sneaked over the 
dark corridor to the lower floor like two shadows. They 
parked the hire car some blocks away in a small side lane 
behind an old tenement. Both men would never return to the 
hotel after the bombing, and planned to drive from Paris to 


Compiegne as fast as possible. Their steps on the asphalt 
were quiet, while the "Sunflower" slowly became a dark and 
small spot behind them. This night was unusually cold, but 
fortunately it was not raining. Now they moved with still 
more caution than in the night, when they had explored the 
canalization. This time, even little mistakes could endanger 

If a police patrol had asked them about the content of their 
backpacks, the two rebels would have had more than just a 
problem. Apart from that, they had guns and knifes in their 
pockets. And even the stupidest cop would not believe 
them, that the were nothing but harmless tourists on a 
sightseeing tour. 

Again they crept from one dark corner to the next, crossing 
a lot of empty streets. Their faces were partly hidden behind 
broad baseball caps, under which four wary eyes examined 
the vicinity, everywhere suspecting enemies or curious 
observers. They were like two predators, always ready to 
catch their booty. 

Some cars drove past them. At the end to the "Rue de 
York", when they lurked in the shadow of an empty shop, 
they suddenly saw a police car, bending around the corner. 
Frank and Alf were shocked, nevertheless, they tried to 
saunter inconspicuously about and acted, as if they did not 
heed the police car. 

The sound of an humming engine became louder and the 
tension rose to the extreme. If just a single policeman would 
have asked them for their particulars or wanted to look into 
their backpacks, then Frank and Alf would have had no 
other chance than killing him. And in case of emergency, 
also every other witness in sight. 

No one had guns and NDC-23 by the kilo, who just wanted 
to visit Paris. The police car approached and seemed to 
drive more slowly now, but it didn't stop and no cop stepped 


out. Probably, the driver only wanted to take a brief look at 

these two strange guys. But this city was full of people like 

this. It was luck for the two bombers, but probably also luck 

for the policeman, because they had not hesitated to use 

their weapons, if necessary. 

„Lucky you!", whispered Frank quietly. 

„Come on!", said Alf. „We are just good citizens." 

„With some NDC-23 in our backpacks...", Kohlhaas giggled 

and seemed to be relieved. Except for some tramps, the 

streets of Paris were empty in this part of the city. After a 

further short walk through the dark lanes, they had finally 

reached the gully cover in front of the abandoned factory, 

which Alfred had duly closed again, after they had returned 

from the canalization. They entered the underworld again. 

But this time it was no more disgusting but otherwise 

harmless scouting expedition. This time, it was deadly 


At the very thought of staying in this stinky vault until 
noontime of 01.03.2029, and even to sleep down here, the 
two men shuddered. 

What would be, if they suddenly stood in front of some new 
grids, which had been repaired in the last days? Or even in 
front of some policemen? No, there was no more room for 
surprises. They had to keep their eyes open to react on 
changes. Now it was the same way again, and rats and 
spiders appeared as a greeting committee in the dark 
tunnels once more. When they had reached the first larger 
room, they examined their equipment, in order to be 
prepared for all possible incidents. 

Frank absently looked at his knife with the serrated blade, 
which John Throphy had organized for him on one of his 
trips to Belarus. Then he put it back into the pocket. The red 
crosses which Alf had sprayed on some walls, were still 


there and the two men were glad about this. Also the 
destroyed grids had fortunately not been repaired, after their 
first walk through the canalization. Frank and Alf decided 
not to stay in the direct proximity of the event overnight. If 
policemen would scan the passages before the 
celebrations, then within this range. They finally chose the 
closed metro tunnel, that they could reach through the dug 
hole in the wall. The air was much better here and from 
somewhere seemed to come a refreshing breeze. 
Nevertheless, it was cold, scary and dark there. 
„What will be if people walk around here again?", 
whispered Frank. 

„One of us must stay awake and keep guard, while the other 
one sleeps", answered Alf. „l will begin if you want!" 
They searched the pit for some fire wood and found all 
kinds of flammable waste after a few minutes. Probably it 
were the inheritances of some tramps. Shortly afterwards, 
they kindled a small campfire, a tiny place of warmth and 
light in that endless, yawning pit. Kohlhaas accepted Alf s 
offer, tucked himself up and slept on the uncomfortable 
ground beside the rails, after he had put a few dry boards 
and an old plastic foil there. However, this night was terrible, 
all alone in the darkness of this old tunnel. Frank started to 

Two hours later, his friend woke him up and asked him to 
take over the next night watch. Tired and nervous, Frank 
straightened up and sat down at the glowing fire. It lasted 
only some minutes, then Alf was sleeping and began to 

That was the only sound in this eerie vault and Kohlhaas 
was happy to hear it after a while. The darkness stared at 
him from a distance and sometimes he believed to hear a 
silent coughing or weeping somewhere, but in this night, the 
metro tunnel was empty. 


It was at 6.00 o'clock in the morning. Frank and Alfred had 
a pitiful breakfast and started with their reconnaissance. 
They slunk quietly and slowly forward and still did not see 
anybody at this early time. No grids or barricades had been 
repaired by any workers or had been placed by the police. 
At least, not on the first day in that hole. On 27.02.2029, the 
two men played card games or spent their time with various 
conversations at the campfire in the closed metro tunnel. 
Later they explored some new passages and finally 
returned to their hiding place. They preferred the old metro 
tunnel to the canalization. Not only because of the better air 
and the campfire. Apart from the bigger halls with the water 
reservoirs, the narrow canals were no places, where they 
wanted to stay longer than necessary. The hours seemed to 
be endless, down below in the underground of Paris. Again, 
a long and uncomfortable night was waiting for them and 
Frank decided to be on guard at first, while Alfred tried to 

Kohlhaas was also very tired and nibbled boredly on some 
chips from the supermarket. Meanwhile, the darkness 
around him made the young man more nervous than ever 
before, and so he decided to look for some more wood for 
the campfire. Soon he had discovered another pile of 
broads near the tracks. After a while he cowered at the 
campfire again - but suddenly he startled up. 
Something had shown its head in a dark corner beyond the 
pile of firewood. It had been a ghostly, pale child, pressing 
its finger to the lips, as if it wanted to remind Frank to be 

„Pssst!", he thought to have heard. Then the darkness 
returned again. 

He felt the adrenaline burning in his veins. Kohlhaas hastily 
fetched his flashlight to examine the place of the spooky 
appearance, but there were only stones and garbage. 


Nothing was to be seen of a child. He thought about waking 
up his friend to tell him about the ghost, but he did not do it. 
There was nothing. Nothing at all. 

After two hours, Frank was damn glad about the fact, that 
he could hand over the night watch to Alfred now. Then he 
immediately fell asleep. When it was his turn again, in the 
early morning, he initially illuminated the strange place with 
his flashlight. But there were no ghosts at all, only garbage. 
Franks nerves were raw and he started to search more 
thoroughly. But it must have been an illusion. Shortly 
afterwards, the young man left the spooky place and hoped 
that the panic would die down again. 
The fire flickered and fought against its extinction for a 
while. Finally Kohlhaas had to return to the eerie corner to 
bring some more firewood. He was still scared and looked 
around, waiting for the coming of the ghostly child. But it did 
not come and left Frank alone in the cold darkness. 

On the next day, at half past eight, Alfred heard voices. 

„Calm!", he hissed and touched Frank lightly. „Hey! Don't 

you hear that?" 

Kohlhaas startled and sharpened his ears. Baumer was 

right. Now he heard the voices too. Someone was shouting 

in the distance, and the calls resounded in the tunnels. They 

had to be vigilant now. 

J take a look!", said Alfred quietly. 

„Damn! Be careful!", answered Frank and slapped on 

Baumefs shoulder. 

Alf jumped up and crawled through the hole in the wall into 

the sewer corridor. He ran to a bifurcation and went into the 

next passage. In his corner of his eye, he could see one of 

the red crosses, he had sprayed on the wall before. The 

voices became louder. They probably came from the larger 

hall with the control room. After some minutes, Alf had 


advanced far enough into the tangle of sewers corridors and 
had reached the room with the water basins. Again, he 
heard someone call in French. He turned off his flashlight 
and disappeared in the darkness. Then he sneaked towards 
to the source of noise. Someone had put on the lights in the 
hall and the old, high vault was weakly illuminated now. 
Baumer dared not to go further and huddled in a corner of 
the corridor, which led to the hall. The voices still became a 
little louder and came out of the small room beside the hall, 
which could be reached over the stairs. 
Finally a man came out of the chamber and called his 
colleague. These men were workers of the public utilities of 
Paris, and made their daily inspection round here. Alf hoped 
that they would not come too often. 

After he had observed them for a while, and one the 
workers had examined a water basin, the two men walked 
away and disappeared into a sewer corridor. 
Alf heard them talk loudly. Then their voices faded away in 
the distance. The rebel turned around and sneaked again 
towards the closed metro tunnel. 

„l just hope, they haven't noticed that we have opened 
those grids and that steel door", he said quietly to himself. 
But the workers had made a calm impression. This was 
obviously just an usual inspection round, that they made 
repeatedly, and with not much eagerness. And even if they 
would repair something, Frank and Alfred could still destroy 
it in the next night again. Kohlhaas was waiting at the small 
campfire and was relieved, when he saw Alfred creeping 
through the hole in the wall. 

„Damn! Where have you been? Thank God, it was your 
flashlight. All right! I have already pulled my gun!", said 


„lt were just some workers", explained Alf and sat down 

beside his friend. ..Let's see, who will come down here 


„Do you know, that they have found a full-grown alligator in 

the canalization of Paris some years ago?", interrupted him 

Frank and smiled grimly, looking at his comrade. 

„l still prefer alligators to cops, Franky!", answered Alf. 

This time, the night, that could only be differentiated from 

the day by a look at the clock, was almost relaxing for the 

two rebels. It was a bit like in the good old schooldays, 

before a classwork, after a long time of learning. They knew 

that the big showdown was inevitable now. 

Tomorrow was the day of their final paper. Maybe a little 

more bloody and dangerous as a class test. Frank and 

Alfred kept guard once more and no ghosts or shades 


At 6.30 o'clock, Alfred's DC-stick beeped and woke the two 

men. The campfire was still glowing, otherwise the cold 

darkness had crept into each corner of the metro shaft 


They slowly got up and ate a few toasts for breakfast. The 

slices of bread tasted like nothing, this cheap and lousy 

grub from ..Globe Food". But it could still be used as a 

possible last meal. 

„We must go to our target area now. If some cops come 

down here today, then in the morning hours. We must keep 

everything in sight", explained Baumer and examined the 

equipment on completeness. 

He checked the time fuse of the bomb several times. Then 

he hid the explosive under a pile of debris to avoid that any 

derelicts find it. Meanwhile, Frank Kohlhaas looked at his 

DC-stick. He wanted to make no mistakes, although they 

had already gone the way twice. Like canal rats, which had 

meanwhile become accustomed to their wet and dark home, 


they silently crept through the sewer corridors and were 
particularly careful in the bigger halls, which hardly offered 
any cover. 

They groped in the dark of the tunnels, mostly with just one 
flashlight in use, in order to cause no all too big light cones. 
Shortly afterwards, they came to the larger vault with the 
water pumps, that reminded Frank of „Moria" from the old 
film. Now they saw that the steel door was still open. 
Kohlhaas beheld the lamp. It looked like the blinde eye of a 
Cyclops, staring at him. Nobody seemed to have been here 
or nobody had recognized the destruction of the door. Both 
men breathed again. 

After a walk through several sewer corridors, they had 
already come close to their goal. Now they squatted in a 
dark corner and waited. The "Temple of Tolerance" and the 
metro station „Charles de Gaulle" were near. They heard a 
metro rumbling in the distance. Cars could not be heard 
today, because the "Avenue of Humanity" had already been 
closed off since a few hours. Suddenly human voices came 
nearer and the two men looked at each other. What was 

At this very second, a cone of light shot directly above their 

heads. Frank's and Alfred's hearts dived. But the ray 

fortunately found no target, except for rusty pipes and the 

dark throat of a sewer corridor. 

A policeman of the GP, the "Global Police", approached and 

scoured the environment for something. 

„There is nothing here!", he shouted at one of his 

colleagues, obviously also no Frenchman. The other man 

answered in a strange sounding jargon. 

„Okay!", it resounded out of another sewer tunnel in the 

proximity of the "Temple of Tolerance". 

„This job is fucked up!", said the cop near Frank. 


Obviously he had no greater desire to crawl through dark 

and stinky sewers. 

„Check the tunnels in your area!", shouted the second GP 

officer in the distance. 

The policeman pointed his cone of light at the opposite 

tunnel. Meanwhile, the two men were scared to death and 

crouched in the brackish water, that flowed beneath them. 

The policeman was only about fifty meters away from them 

and mumbled something into his radio. 

..Let's disappear from this hole!", hissed Frank quietly. 

„But carefully...", whispered Alf and tried to turn around 

noiselessly, while the cop babbled with the other one. 

Frank and Alfred prepared for a quiet retreat to another 

sewer corridor. They carefully crept away, but Frank 

suddenly slid on the wet ground and slipped into the dirty 

trickle. A quiet „Plop!" resounded out of the sewer, which 

still increased the noise. 

Now the two men were gripped by fear and tried to escape 

from the danger zone as fast as possible. The head of the 

policeman turned around and his flashlight with him. A light 

cone immediately jumped towards the tunnel like a furious 

lion, but there was nobody anymore. 

Frank and Alf were already on the run to the next reservoir 

room and the cop only heard quiet steps and the lapping of 

water. A ray of light bored itself into the dark tunnel and 

illuminated its forepart. 

„ls there somebody?", shouted the policeman into the black 

hole. „Hey, give me a sign!", he added. 

Then he went back to another place. His radio croaked and 

he tried to give an answer in English. 

"I thought, I have heard something. But I think it was only a 

rat!", he said. 


In the meantime, Kohlhaas and Baumer had reached 

another sewer corridor and the cop made no move to follow 

them through the ugly passage. 

"Don't know! Shit!", Frank heard him curse quietly. 

He finally walked to another area of the sewer system. Both 

assassins breathed again. Totally unprepared, they had 

been surprised by that man. This cop had almost seen 

them. Both still waited for another hour in the protection of 

the smelly darkness, until no more voices could be heard in 

the distance. On the way back to the closed metro tunnel 

they did not encounter any other policemen. Nevertheless, 

their nerves were still raw. 

These GP's, who had been recruited in many different 

countries, just like the GCF occupation troops, obviously 

had no bigger references to the French culture. However, 

their interest to explore the famous historic sewer system of 

Paris was limited. 

They just did their job and examined the direct area below 

the square in front of the "Temple of Tolerance", that was 

all. Policemen, who solely made "their job", just arrived at 

the right moment in the eyes of Frank and Alfred. 

When they came back to the metro tunnel, everything was 

still at its place. Also the NDC-23 - which should have its 

great performance in about two to three hours. 



While Frank and Alf were waiting for the attack in their 
hiding place, and the minutes passed in a state of 
nervousness and tension, Paris resembled an anthill at the 
surface. The opening speech of Leon-Jack Wechsler, 
governor of the administrative sector ..Central Europe", 
should start at 13.00 o'clock. The streets of the metropolis 
were already now, around 11,00 o'clock, perfectly 

Huge masses of people, roughly about two millions, 
clustered towards the "Avenue of Humanity" and it came to 
the first clashes between the visitors of the event and the 
police in the early morning hours. 

In the gray of dawn, bloody riots had broken out with 
numerous casualties and many deads. In many parts of the 
metropolis the violence still ruled the streets, particularly in 
the Arabic ghettos. 

Over 40 GP-Policemen and hundreds of Arabs had already 
been killed. Last night, French patriots had fixed some 
enormous transparencies with slogans like ..France is the 
country of the Frenchmen!" or ..Freedom for France! Down 
with the World Government!" at several big buildings in the 
inner city. 

Some activists had been caught by the police, three young 
Frenchmen had even been shot. In the north of Paris, young 
Arabs had tried to penetrate into some suburbs, which were 
inhabited by Frenchmen. Here they had burned cars or had 
broken into houses. Finally they had encountered some 
armed Frenchmen and the police. Over 200 people had 
been killed in that street fight. An illegal demonstration of 
the "Islamic Federation" in the opposite part of the former 


capital of France against the policy of the World 

Government in the Middle East, had likewise ended with 

violent outbursts. Over thirty thousand Muslims had come 

together to protest and could only be dispersed by the 

security forces, after they had attacked the crowd with 


Hugo and Baptiste, the Frenchmen, who had visited the 

meeting in Ivas at that time, were already active in the 

boiling metropolis since weeks. 

Their political group had distributed tens of thousands of 

illegal leaflets in the whole city, in which they called up the 

population to resist the foreign rulers and to fight against the 

World Government. Some activists who had been caught by 

the police, were never seen again. 

Furthermore, they let countless little pieces of paper with 

rebellious calls rain down on the shopping streets, from the 

roofs of some multistory buildings. 

They had uploaded a lot of forbidden webpages on the 

Internet and had even established a secret radio channel 

which daily sent informations. Apart from this, the freedom 

fighters had sprayed some oppositional slogans on the 

entrance door of the "Temple of Tolerance". The police and 

the GSA were still investigating feverishly. When the police 

had located the secret radio station in the end, most of the 

French acivists had made it to esape them. 

This form of resistance was also not less dangerous than a 

bombing because prison or even death was waiting for 

people who were classified by the GSA as "incurable 

politically incorrect". 

Therefore, not only Frank and Alfred risked their lifes down 

in the tunnel system below the city, in the battle against the 

global dictatorship. Even at the surface, many Frenchmen, 

above all the young people, stretched their heads that far 

out of the swamp of anxiety and anonymity that the police 


could cut them off. This so called "festival" would become 
bloody. Even without a bomb strike. After the opening 
speech, the people would only see on video, the military 
parades of the GCF troops would begin. Moreover, masses 
of journalists infested the city like a swarm of grasshoppers 
and were eager to spread the ideology of the New World 
Order. A happy world full of peace and harmony, wearing a 
long cloak - made of lies. 

As the „One-World-Song" resounded out of the 
loudspeakers that had been situated everywhere along the 
"Avenue of Humanity", only a small part of the giant crowd 
sang along. This was disappoiting for the GSA agents who 
meticulously filmed the people. 

Sometimes, even bottles and stones were thrown in the 
direction of the loudspeakers and screens which showed no 
pictures yet. Here, the GP officials took drastic measures 
and pulled every molester out of the crowd. Who was 
caught disappeared in a police vehicle. 
So many of the two million spectators were already upset, 
although the festival had not been opened by Wechsler so 
far. Apart from that, many Parisians also just holed up in 
their houses, hoping that this day would pass as quickly as 
possible. In spite of the publicity campaign of the media 
which stylized the "Festival of the New World" to a new 
climax of human development. 

The population of the sector ..Central Europe" had been 
forced to pay still higher tributes and taxes in the last 
months and the social misery was growing more and more. 
Therefore, the people had not very much of this ..Festival of 
the New World", and all the propaganda around it. The 
racial tensions also continued to extend. If one drove 
through some parts of Paris, it seemed that France was 
close to civil war. But all this was a part of the policy of the 
new rulers, a small piece of their worldwide opus of decay. 


The screaming crowd above their heads could easily be 

heard, down in the canalization. It roared and yelled and 

sang and stamped. Frank and Alfred seemed to become 

only more nervous, because of this din. Time was running 

out fast, and soon the critical moment would come. The 

governor was on his way to the inner city of Paris. Now it 

was vital to pay attention. All or nothing! 

„Whafs the time, Baumer?", asked Frank with an uncertain 

flickering in his eyes, while the „One-World-Song" was sung 

above him. 

„Three minutes past twelve. Still about an hour...", answered 

Alf and extinguished the campfire. 

„Okay, let's go!", said Kohlhaas, nervously fumbling on his 


They checked their equipment again and Frank stroked the 

explosive in the blue bags. 

„For you father, for you sister!", he silently murmured and 

stared into the dark tunnel. 

Both took their heavy luggage and loaded their weapons. 

Then they went to the hole to enter the canalization. Each 

step was arduous now and was accompanied by a wildly 

pounding heart. The palms of the two men filled with tiny 

rills of sweat, while the ubiquitous darkness stared at them 

still more malicious than ever before. 

Their flashlights shone the way and they moved through the 

sewer corridors like creeping cats on the hunt. The larger 

halls were empty now. 

All attention, probably even those of the workers of the 

public utilities, was given to the enormous spectacle at the 

surface. What Frank and Alfred did not know was that all 

employees of the city of Paris were allowed to stay away 

from work if they visited the ceremonies. Both rebels walked 

forward through the tunnels on quiet soles. They had soon 

reached the passage, where that GP policeman had nearly 


found them. Their hearts pounded like crazy steam 

hammers and Frank believed to be able to hear the echo of 

his pulse in the tunnel. 

"At 13.00 o'clock, Wechsler will start his speech. When it 

begins, I put the time fuse of the bomb on ten minutes. This 

should be enough, to get our asses out of the danger 

zone!", explained Alf. 

"Okay!", said Frank who could hardly bear the tension. 

Baumer carefully prepared the bomb and Frank just 

watched him. 

Meanwhile, the black limousine of the governor had stopped 

in front of the "Temple of Tolerance" and a finely clothed 

chauffeur opened the door. A swarm of policemen 

immediately sourrounded the big, flashy vehicle. Shortly 

afterwards, a black varnish shoe appeared beneath the car 

door. Then the elegant rest followed. Leon-Jack Wechsler 

had arrived. 

Yesterday he had still been in London and had delivered a 

speech in front of the members of the Grand Lodge, what 

belonged to his tasks as its second Grand Master. 

Now he was in Paris, in order to open the "Festival of the 

New World" solemnly. London, the best supervised city on 

the planet, except for New York and Washington, was 

Wechslefs adoptive home. Here, his ancestors had already 

made lucrative bank businesses. Then a part of his family 

had emigrated to Chicago and in the end he had come back 

to the former capital of England. 

The governor smiled and shook the hands of some 

subordinated dignitaries. These bowed to the dark-haired 

man with the noticeable round glasses. The politician was 

fortyish and had already made a great career. Originally 

coming from the bank business, he had also been active in 

numerous media concerns and energy companies. 

Wechsler was a powerful man and loyal to his education, he 


despised values like honesty or scruple. If it was necessary, 
also lie and deceitfulness did it, because only the aim was 
important and its name was "might". 

The polititian combed his hair once again and looked 
around with cunning eyes. The crowd was far away from 
him and he had no reference to those people and he also 
did not want that. He did, what had to be done, and said, 
what had to be said, so that the new order could live. The 
plan to create this new world, had been prepared long 
beforehand, and it tolerated no deviations or delays. 
Leon-Jack Wechsler was a cogwheel in this cruel machine, 
but he was an important cogwheel. The politician knew that, 
and everyone who knew him, knew that too. And his 
servants did well not to annoy him. 

The clock was ticking and would never stop. As the great 
wheel of history always revolved - overrunning those who 
were not able to follow the time. 

It was 12.58 o'clock on this historical day, which celebrated 
the New World Order. Governor Leon-Jack Wechsler 
grinned like a Pharisee and slowly walked up the stairs to 
the speaker's desk. Numerous security men encircled the 
stage. Most of them just looked disinterestedly around. 
They seemed to suspect nothing evil. 
All these security men were just too many and were to well 
armed that someone seriously would have ventured to 
attack them. Tanks, regiments of GP policemen, GCF 
soldiers and still more best equipped Riot Control Squads 
had been congregated here, to force the people to love this 
new world. Moreover, the dreaded Skydragons were lurking 
in the sky, and they were always able to smash the masses 
like a hammer. It was suicide to challenge this power. 
Leon-Jack Wechsler stroked his black business suit again, 
looking at the spectators in the distance. Many of them 
probably hated him deep inside, but this was rather amusing 


than dangerous, from his point of view. The "herd of 
animals", as he and his Fellows called the rest of mankind, 
would remain impotent and enslaved forever. 

"I welcome you! People of our One-World! 

I am so endlessly happy, to be allowed, to welcome you 
here today. So many people have come to our beautiful 
Paris. We have invited you to this "Festival of the New 
World", to a great celebration of humanitarianism! And all of 
you have come, full of joy and expectation!" 

The crowd made some noise and Wechsler looked at the 
herd with a cynical smile... 


Red Moon 

The voice of the governor echoed in the depths of the 
canalization. Frank and Alf jumped out of their hiding place 
in the shadows like predators, placing the bomb at the 
previously selected position. Above them, they heard the 
murmur of the crowd which listened to Wechslefs speech. 
Alf adjusted the time fuse and when a faint "beep" sounded, 
it was like the starting shot to a sprint for the two rebels. 
"The band begins to play!", said Alf and nodded at Frank. 
The clock of death had been put on and was ticking its 
vicious song until the bloody finale. Frank Kohlhaas and 
Alfred Baumer ran like fleeing rabbits into the tunnel from 
which they had come. In ten minutes, the NDC-23, this 
deadly explosive, would tear a huge hole into the ground in 
front of the "Temple of Tolerance". 

The way back appeared hostile and doubts grew in the 
brains of the two men. Would their plan really be 

They scurried through the fetid sewer corridors and the 
rooms with the reservoirs, with the cones of light in front of 
them. Meanwhile, the dark path through the underworld had 
burned itself into their minds and both men rushed forward, 
as if they were hounded by a demon. Above them, fate took 
its course and the Red Moon, the bloody moon, looked 
down at the "Avenue of Humanity" with a grim face... 

"Humaneness! What is the sense of this magnificent word?", 
called Wechsler into the microphone. "It means 
benevolence! The uppermost principle of our new world. 
Equality, freedom and benevolence for everyone! We have 
brought it to the people. A better world under the sign of 


peace. And this is the reason, why we may celebrate today. 

It has been successful - the attempt, to make this world a 

better place. When I became governor of the sector "Central 

Europe", there was always only one slogan for me: We can 

do it! 

Of course, it was not always easy to give the people these 

holy ideals, but today we are united and happy. We love 

each other and we are free! 

And whom do we have to owe that? Our faith in the power 

of huma... 


A loud blast cut off Wechslefs next word and tore the lies 

out of his throat. It was like the ground had opened to drag 

the devil himself down to hell. The explosion was 

devastating and ripped a large hole into the square in front 

of the "Temple of Tolerance". 

The forefront of the building was torn up by the shock wave 

like a piece of paper. Several dozens of security men and 

politicians were torn to pieces, among them also Leon-Jack 

Wechsler. Asphalt pieces, concrete, splinters of wood and 

body parts rained down. 

Where the governor had spoken a few seconds ago, a 

smoking abyss had been torn into the ground. Mangled 

corpses and wreckage covered the place. 

Frank and Alf ran still faster. The deafening blast of the 

explosion had shaken the tunnel system of Paris to the last 

corner. For both men, it was the second starting shot and 

they were close to loose their nerves. 

"Victory! I can't believe it! We have really done it!", gasped 

Frank and sped forward. He had almost slipped to the 

ground, but Alf could still hold him. "Run!" 


The people were quiet for a short moment, when they 

perceived the end of the governor on the video screens. 

Policemen and soldiers were shocked and looked around, 

full of horror and confusion. 

A swarm of journalists and cameramen, that had stood in 

front of the stage had also been shredded by the explosion. 

Some had immediately been dead, others had been hurled 

away several meters and were lying on the ground, with torn 

limbs, screaming and bleeding. 

Their colleagues who were filming the event from the 

distance, suddenly pointed their cameras at the bloody 

scenario. The terror had come over the square in front of 

the "Temple of the Tolerance", paralyzing the gawking 

crowd for a while. 

Nevertheless, the brains of the people slowly processed the 

new situation and, above all, the security forces tried to 

react quickly on the unexpected bomb strike. Radiograms 

reached the policemen and soldiers, hastily and nervously 

yelled commands and orders. Some officers were sent to 

the canalization to look what had happened. 

Shortly afterwards, a dozen men climbed into the hole. 

Others were called to the nearby gully covers. The fact that 

so many manhole covers around the square had been weld 

shut by the policemen, made them problems now. They all 

had to be levered up, what caused a long delay. 

After a while, some of the officers entered the tangle of 

sewer corridors and tried to find suspicious persons. Their 

calls and the sound of their heavy boots echoed through the 


The two bombers were already far away now and passed 
the dug hole, which led to the abandoned metro tunnel. 
Despite the red signs on the walls, they selected the wrong 
corridor and lost a few minutes of precious time. Dozens of 


police officers already followed them, but they were still far 
away. The panicky rebels cursed and became even more 
nervous now. 

"I... I just pushed over the edge! Sorry, Alf! That was the 
wrong way!", said Frank, gasping for breath and sweating. 
"Yes, all right. I had sprayed these crosses on the walls, 
exactly for that fucking reason, man!", hissed Alf and waved 
his friend nearer. 

They found one of Alf s marks and Kohlhaas opened the 
digital map on his DS-Stick with nervous fingers: "The first 
storage room we had found is not far!" 
They crept forward to the exit, while the inner tension slowly 
became unbearable. But this they were on the right way. 
Nevertheless, they still had to traverse a lot of long and dark 
sewer corridors. They cautiously crept in the direction of the 
storage room with the basin - it had to be at the end of this 
passage. Both men just used one single flashlight now, to 
cause not too much light. Frank did not dare to think, what 
would happen if suddenly some policemen would stand in 
front of them. 

The two rebels silently scurried forward. Now they could see 
a strange blaze at the end of the dirty sewer corridor. They 
paused and tried to recognize something. Frank caught his 

Someone had turned on one of the old lamps in the room 
with the basins. The usual darkness which had always 
protected them had vanished now. With careful movements, 
they stalked through the tunnel. Frank crept to the end of 
the sewer corridor and cowered there. Then he peered 
around the corner. There was nobody. The room seemed to 
be empty. A moment after, the young rebel turned around to 
Alf and waved him nearer. "We have to pass this room! 
Then we can hide again in the narrow tunnels", whispered 
Frank and felt out his gun. 


"But who has turned on that light?", hissed Alf nervously. 

"Damn! You ask the wrong person! Come on now!", said 


They crawled forward and entered the daunting room. 

Behind the pool edge of the water basin, they crept into the 

dimness. Suddenly the heard voices and the patter of steps 

with heavy boots. Frank coughed into his breathing mask 

which was meanwhile wet and dirty. His heart seemed to 

explode. Alf stared at him with an appalled face and 

swallowed quietly. 

"Come on! Here!", it resounded out of a sewer tunnel. The 

light cones of two flashlights danced forth out of the dark 


"Maybe here is someone!", they heard, while the steps 

came nearer. 

Frank tried to calm himself, in these seconds of highest 


"If we shoot them, we will just make a lot of noise. That 

would attract only more of them", he whispered and Alf 

regarded him with fear in his eyes. 

"We are fucked up, my friend!", said Baumer with an almost 

whining undertone. 

"Into the basin! Come on!", hissed Frank and climbed quietly 

over the pool edge. Alfred followed him without saying a 

word. Like two otters, they smoothed into the repulsive pond 

that seemed to be deep enough to hide. Kohlhaas touched 

his combat knife and Alf desperatly looked in his direction. 

The steps were now in close proximity and both rebels took 

a deep breath full of stench. Then they disappeared into the 

brackish water. 

Frank closed his eyes and tried to think about nothing. This 

was really perverse, but it was better than to be dead. 

Suddenly, a blaze touched the water surface, otherwise it 


was just dark and Frank tried not to think about all the things 

that could be in this ugly swill. 

"Come on, check this reservoir room!", it resounded through 

the brackish water. Now they recognized two policemen. 

One of the officers walked around the basin and illuminated 

the dark corners of the room, then he went to the next 

sewer tunnel. 

The time appeared endless and Frank slowy became 

queasy, he was close to vomit into the stinky water. Alf felt 

the same. Meanwhile, the policeman muttered some 

unintelligible fragments of words into his radio. Frank 

emerged for a second to breathe some air and heard the 

officer say something. 

"I must get out of this shit!", he thought to himself, but the 

policeman was still waiting beside the basin. A moment 

after, he walked through the room, around the basin, and 

finally leaned against the pool edge. 

The two rebels tried to communicate by gestures or looks, 

but the water was so dirty and dark that this was impossible. 

Now, Frank decided to act on his own. 

The policeman was still standing at the opposite end of the 

pool, leaning against the basin's edge and talking with his 

colleague, who had obviously gone into another sewer 

corridor. "Did you find something?" 

"Only rat shit here!", it came back with a laughter. 

Kohlhaas could not understand anything else. Only God 

knew, where these two policemen came from. Anyhow, they 

were no Frenchmen. The officer in front of Frank seemed to 

be Hispanic or something like that. 

Kohlhaas quietly moved below the surface and dived 

through the dirty water to the edge of the basin like an eel. 

As long as the officer was in this position, and the other one 

was somewhere in a tunnel, he had to act. The young man 

took his combat knife, pulled it out of the sheath and waited 


for a few seconds, while the officer was mumbling 

something into his radio. The rucksack on Frank's back 

which had been freed of its deadly cargo bugged him now, 

because it hampered his movements. Kohlhaas felt like a 

crocodile that had waited for the gazelle all day long. And 

the gazelle had come to the border of his realm to drink. He 

pushed himself off the floor of the basin and jumped up to 

the pool edge. 

The sudden sound of splattering water behind him let the 

policeman turn around with surprise. The officer tried to 

release the safety catch of his machine gun, but Frank was 


Kohlhaas rammed his knife deeply into the cop's neck and 

jumped on the ground beside the water basin. His opponent 

gasped for breath and stumbled back in confusion. 

Frank grabbed the man and pressed his hand on the 

officer's mouth, so that he could not make too much noise. 

Meanwhile, Alf had also climbed out of the basin and held 

his combat knife nervously in his hand. 

"Unnnghh!" The injured policeman lurched and Frank 

rammed his blade again into the neck of his enemy, while 

he pulled the man to the ground. The cop still fidgeted and 

tried to shake off his attacker. Suddenly Baumer came from 

the front and knifed the officer too. 

The policeman finally collapsed and gave up his resistance. 

Both men pulled his heavy body some meters away and let 

him lie in a corner. Then they heard the voice of the other 

cop who called again something out of a sewer tunnel and 

seemed to return. Frank and Alf rebels had to disappear 

now, as fast as possible, before he would find his dead 


For their luck, the way out of this room had remained in their 

minds, although they still were totally confused. They ran 

into a dark tunnel and made off. Some minutes later they 


heard a loud scream behind them. Probably the other 
policeman had now realized that the room with the water 
basin had not been empty. The two men ran and ran and 
finally reached the exit. As fast as they could, they left the 
canalization behind them. Wet, smelly and blood-smeared, 
they crept to the surface. Frank and Alf hastily put on their 
jackets to hide the conspicuous bloodstains on their clothes. 
The two bombers breathed again and enjoyed a fresh 
breeze of air. They just could not believe it! They had made 
that bombing and the police did not catch them - so far. 
Now they only had to reach their car to escape from the 
metropolis, which slowly fell into chaos. 

Shortly afterwards, the two assassins hastened through the 
streets. They were hardly regarded, because around them 
Paris became a huge boiler full of rage and confusion. 
Groups of people had gathered everywhere, men and 
women ran across the streets, cars honked and they heard 
the voice of an excited newscaster out of the window of a 
house. The bombing had shocked the whole city - just as 
they had planned it. 

Frank and Alf fastly ran forward and nobody paid attention 
to them. After a while they had reached the side street, in 
which they had parked their car. It had not been stolen or 
broken up in the time of their absence - and this was not 
self-evident in these days. 

They finally exchanged their filthy and dirty clothes with 
some new dresses that had still been in the trunk. Frank 
threw the dirty clothes into a garbage can, started the 
engine and drove away. It trip lasted, because many streets 
were closed off or were clogged with people. It was nerve- 
racking, but finally they reached one of the streets which led 
them out of the boiling city. 


Paris slowly disappeared behind them, Frank and Alf 
pausend for breath. Steffen de Vries had already landed in 
Compiegne at the arranged meeting place and was 
nervously waiting for their arrival. While time passed, the 
Belgian felt more and more uncomfortable. But Kohlhaas 
and Baumer finally reached the small village near 
Compiegne. Now they could return to Ivas. Before the take- 
off, they freed their hire car of its vehicle number and 
burned it in the forest, hidden from any curious views. 
The car was totally destroyed and no one would ever be 
able to identify the wreck. When they welcomed the Belgian, 
he was more than impressed with their success, and he was 
also more than relieved at the same time. 
Steffen de Vries shook their hands and was absolutely 
amazed. The radio had already informed him about the 
situation in Paris since the bombing. Perfectly exhausted, 
Frank and Alf climbed into the airplane. Shortly afterwards, 
they left "Central Europe". 

In the former capital of France, the situation had meanwhile 
become dramatically acute. After the crowd had seen the 
end of the governor on the numerous video screens, a 
strange and confusing silence had ruled the "Avenue of 
Humanity" for several minutes. Many people had not been 
able to handle with the unforeseen event. 
The security forces admonished the crowd to remain quiet, 
while tanks threateningly rolled out of the side streets 
towards the cooking human pulp. After a while, one heard 
the first spectators approvingly yelling and clapping their 
hands. The crowd was moved by a tumultuous unrest and 
more and more people started to laugh and shout. 
"Thank God! That pig is dead!", screamed a group of men 
somewhere in the giant throng. In that moment, the 


shouters ignored the fact that they were all filmed by GSA 


"This would also be the right end for the World President!", 

yelled another man at the top of his lungs. 

Then still more people began to shout things like this. Some 

young men stamped their feet and sang the forbidden 

national anthem of old France. Many of the persons 

standing around them joined the singing, although a lot of 

people no longer knew the correct text, because the song 

had been forbidden by the new rulers. 

"Freedom for France! Down with the World Government!" 

A choir came from the rear part of the crowd and the shouts 

were carried by more and more people. Hundreds joined the 

furious screaming and soon the "Avenue of Humanity" 

quaked under the roar of countless Parisians. It was a 

strange picture, this huge crowd, clogging the streets and 

slowly getting out of control. 

The faces of many people were lined with pain. Millions of 
Parisians lived a life full of sorrow, poverty and perpetual 
insecurity. Therefore, it was no wonder that the displeasure 
had grown inside them in the last years. 
Meanwhile, a big part of the population of Paris consisted of 
badly paid workers and peons. The salaries were usually 
that small that one just did not starve and was able to pay 
the high rents for the shabby dwellings. 
Many of the people here knew the gnaw feeling of an empty 
stomach. The food prices and the fees for electricity, 
heating and water had steadily been raised since 2018. 
Hundreds of thousands of inhabitants of the city had already 
fallen through the welfare net and had become street 
people. Sometimes, they just froze to death in the winters. 
This was the sad truth about the "new world". There was 
also no longer a social welfare system, because the World 


Government had abolished it as a result of the high public 
debt. All this was a good hotbed for a revolt. But even now, 
many people did not dare to protest. They were still 
intimidated and tried to hide somewhere among the others. 
They frightenedly looked at the surveillance cameras that 
were situated everywhere. Some of them even sneaked 
away from the avenue and went to the side streets. So the 
crowd broke up into a submissive and a rebellious part in 
the following hours. 

Nevertheless, it was astonishing, how many citizens 
suddenly had the courage to raise their voices. The 
anonymity of the crowd seemed to fill them with bravery. 

"Freedom for France! Down with the World Government!" 
"Freedom for France! Down with the World Government!" 
"Freedom for France! Down with the World Government!" 

The choir of desperate protest increased and became 
gradually louder. Somewhere in the crowd, Frenchmen and 
immigrants started to attack each other. The Moslems 
screamed their own slogans, refering to Islam, which were 
also hostile against the World Goverment. In the middle of 
the mass began a riot. The angry people assaulted each 
other with bottles, knifes and clubs. Even some shots could 
be heard. 

Policemen and GCF soldiers, who had meanwhile encircled 
the crowd, flanked by tanks, threatened by loudspeakers to 
immediately stop the antigovernmental shouts. But crowds 
have their own dynamics. So is the single man mostly 
cowardly and obsequious, but as a part of a mass he 
sometimes becomes a hero. 

The orders of the officers were ignored, and after a short 
time, policemen, soldiers, GSA observers and the crowd 
opposed each other like two warring armies. 


Now the GP-squadleaders yelled the order to "catch 
seditious people in the crowd" into their radios and groups 
of officers with heavy body armor clubbed their way through 
the mob to get all those, who had been idenitfied by the 
GSA agents. Finally, the situation escalated more and more. 
The policemen were welcomed with bottles, cobblestones or 
even bare fists, while they uncontrollably beat everyone 
down who stood in their way. Nevertheless, the screaming 
of the mass became louder, despite their brutality. 
Yes, the more people were cut down by the clubs of the 
cops, the more people joined the chorus of protest at other 
places in the giant sea of humans. 

On 03.01.2029 at 18.00 o'clock, the first Molotov cocktails 
towrads policemen and tanks in a side street of the "Avenue 
of Humanity". The GP's immediately returned fire and 
riddled the attackers with bullets. 

In return, some Parisians armed themselves with clubs, 
knifes, axes and even guns. Now the violence expanded 
like a plague, seizing thousands of people along the 
"Avenue of Humanity". 

The warnings, the police officers were shouting, were not 
noticed anymore by the raging crowd and the mass 
answered with the old French national anthem. 
The forbidden song became a surging wave of emotions 
and shook the mass from one end to the other. The old 
ground of the boulevard trembled under the loud sound of 
the outlawed hymn. Something, the former capital of France 
had not seen since decades. 

The tanks finally came closer and the GCF soldiers and 
policemen took positions. It lasted only a few minutes until 
the GCF commander gave the order to shoot the people 
down. The bloodbath started. 


While the mass was singing the strictly forbidden old hymn 
in perfect harmony, and a surprising great number of people 
could still remember the text, the first gunshots resounded 
over the avenue. 
"Tac! Tac! Tac! Tac!" 

The noise of gunfire increased and hundreds of men and 
women broke down. Then a terrible hail of bullets swept 
through the front ranks behind the barriers - all the 
policemen and soldiers began to fire now. The tanks moved 
forward and pointed their heavy machine guns at the 
numerous targets. 

"Tac! Tac! Tac! Tac!", it echoed over the avenue which was 
allegedly dedicated to humanity. The salvos of assault rifles 
cut hundreds of people down like a huge scythe. Finally the 
crowd fell into panic. The old French national anthem lapsed 
inot silence and was exchanged with the terrified cries of the 

The soldiers and policemen could hardly miss their 
countless targets and they did their job, following the orders 
of their commanders and were killing without mercy. 
Most of them were no Frenchmen, and if they were attacked 
by this crowd in this foreign land, they just had to put down 
the uprising. And they did it. Hundreds of corpses covered 
the "Avenue of Humanity" after only a few minutes. 
The security forces marched forward in a closed firing line 
and shot their way through the sea of men, women and 
children. In particular, the heavy full metal jacket bullets of 
the tank guns were devastating. Soon the screaming crowd 
fled in all directions. Fences were ripped down, cars were 
overturned and the Parisians trampled each other to death. 
Behind them, the soldiers and policeman marched over 
countless dead bodies like a slowly moving wall of death. 
Then the security forces got a new command. The unruly, 
but unarmed crowd, had been driven back by them and 


looked like the giant Persian army at the battle of 

Gaugamela which had been defeated by the phalanx of 

Alexander the Great. The policemen, soldiers and tanks 


"The Skydragons are coming! Stop!", shouted one of the 

squad leaders into his radio and wiped off the sweat from 

his brow. The killing work had been exhausting. 

Orders were given and the dreaded helicopters, coming 

from a nearby military base in the west of Paris, came from 

the sky. Shortly afterwards, the pilots of the Skydragons 

saw nothing but a swarm of frightened ants, fleeing through 

the streets. 

Finally, the helicopters reduced their altitude and made their 

gatling machine guns and their grenade launchers ready to 


"Okay! We just wait for your orders!", said the commander 

of the Skydragon squadron to his higher officer. 

"What are you waiting for? Fire!", screamed the superior. 

The pilot of the helicopter hesitated for some seconds, as if 

he would think about that, what he should do now. In the 

end, he simply said to himself that this was his "job" which 

had to be done. 

He was from Uzbekistan, with Russian ancestors, and his 

name was Alexander. Meanhwile, the young man was a 

soldier of the GFC since three years, and this was the first 

time he had got the order to kill unarmed civilians. 

Alexander tried to ignore it. 

"If I wouldn't do it, another man would...", he excused his 

acting in front of himself. 

Nevertheless, the payment for GCF soldiers was good - 

and he had to feed a wife and three children. Apart from 

that, every job had its dark sides. This was just the way of 

the world. Now the automated target aquisition showed him 

a great number of people. He stopped thinking and started 


to fire. It became a massacre. The heavy bullets of the 
Skydragons smashed flesh and bones. Countless hit people 
collapsed below the helicopters, screaming, crying, dying, 
tumbling on the asphalt. Skulls were shredded and bodies 
were mangled by this murderous blaze of gunfire. The 
slaughter almost lasted one hour. 

There was no escape for those who were caught by the 
automated target aquisiation. Where the Skydragons had 
raged, a cruel picture remained. Innumerable bodies were 
covering the blood-soaked streets of Paris. 
Alexander, the family father, recognized a man in the corner 
of his eye. His head was torn, while he still tried to creep 
forward, pulling a bloody trace over the street. It was 
horrible. The Russian was shaken by doubts again, but he 
finally suppressed them. It had to be done, it was an order, 
and his only choice was to kill. Then he kept on shooting at 
the ants, down there on the ground. 

While policemen, soldiers and tanks were called to other 
parts of Paris, in order to eliminate insurgents, the day came 
to an end. 

But the riots still lasted for two further weeks. Many 
discontented Parisians attacked the local police stations in 
their districts or assaulted local politicians. The head 
administrator of Paris, Richard de la Croix, was shot in the 
open street by an unknown man. Burning cars and houses, 
firing tanks and policemen, ruled the street picture in many 
parts of the furious metropolis for days. 
But in the end the order was restored. This time, the Lodge 
Brothers who frequently used the lie as a their weapon, had 
consulted its brother: the terror. And he was successful. 
Even the bravest man was powerless against the unlimited 
inconsiderateness of the security forces in the long term. 
About 40000 people died in the riots and street fights on 
01.03.2029, and in the following weeks. Moreover, several 


hundred policemen and GCF soldiers were killed. Paris had 
been drowned in blood. Now it was over... 


With him 

It was already late. Mr. Morris, 56 years old and one of the 
secretaries of the World President, had to hurry. This 
appointment was extremely important. His taxi had 
struggled through the jammed streets, from the airport of 
New York to the inner city. However, time really pressed 
now. Mr. Morris scurried through the big entrance door of a 
gigantic skyscraper and ran to the lift. The beheld his watch 
and became nervous. But in the end he reached the 33. 
floor of the building just in time... 

"Come in, Mr. Morris!", called somebody out of a luxurious 

office room on the uppermost floor of the skyscraper. 

"Good afternoon, Mr. World President!", said the man with 

the gray temples and the just as gray suit, smiling unsteadily 

and submissively. His interlocutor stared out the window 

down at the streets of the New York and did not turn 


"I have the newest internal messages from Paris...", said 

Morris excitedly. 

"Aha!", returned the World President. 

"Yes, the situation has become acute, as the GSA men 

have told me!", gasped the older gentleman, totally 


"Really?", asked his boss. 

"Yes, Mr. World President! Confidential studies...", 

explained Morris, but he was interrupted. 

"Where is your place in our great organization, Mr. Morris?", 

interrogated the World President and still stared at the 

hectic tangle of cars and people between the bulky bank 

houses of New York's inner city. 


"I beg your pardon, Sir!", replied the confused secretary, still 
standing beside the door. 

"Which lodge, Mr. Morris?", clarified the president. 
„Eh! I'm a fellow of the "Sons of the Mountain", Sir! The 
lodge is called "Sons of the Mountain". ..San Francisco, Mr. 
World President!", stammered Morris baffledly. 
"Grade?", muttered the man in front of the window. 
"Eh, I'm in the 4th grade, Sir! That's all I have achieved until 
now, Sir!", stuttered the secretary. 
"Well, perhaps that is enough for you, Mr. Morris!" 
"I wanted to talk about Paris...", said the servant, but he was 
interrupted again. 

"Sons of the Mountain"? One of my nephews is also there!", 
whispered the World President. 

His secretary tried to direct the conversatrion on the 
incidents in Paris, but the World President just groaned and 
ordered him to stop talking about these things. 
"Listen, Mr. Morris! I know what has happened in Paris, and 
I give a shit on it!", he said quietly. "Not even a damn fart! 
Do you think that the "great revolution" will break loose 
against us now, Mr. Morris!" 

The World President seemed to be almost amused. "Leon- 
Jack Wechsler is dead. I have already determined his 
successor this morning. And now, I don't want to talk about 
this unimportant and boring kids' stuff anymore!" 
"But the terrorists have...", Morris tried to explain with an 
unsteady voice. 

The World President seemed not to hear him. He still looked 
impassively out of the huge window of his luxury office: 
"Bring me a glass of orange juice, Mr. Morris, and place it 
on the desk!" 

"Yes, Sir!", stammered his secretary and left the room. After 
a few minutes he returned and put a glass of orange juice 
on the table. 


"Thanks!", said the chairman of the international community, 

but he did not turn around. "Do you think that we would be 

there where we are, if things like that uninteresting fuss in 

Paris had ever impressed us just one time?", he added 


"Yes, I don't know...", Morris became more and more 


"We are the rulers of this world for two reasons. First, 

because we have servants like you, Mr. Morris. Second, 

because the old and great plan to conquer this planet is 

perfectly ripe and has no weaknesses or errors." 

The secretary stared at the World President with an 

astonished face. 

"Mr. Morris, you are, as a member of the lodge of the "Sons 

of the Mountain", in your place. I am in my place, as World 

President. What has happened in Paris was good...", he 


"What do you mean?", asked the secretary and was 


"Well, now we can tell the masses, how dangerous terrorism 

is and that they can only get protected by an increased 

surveillance! The media will hammer it into their hollow 

heads like a mantra, constantly preach and repeat it, so 

often until that herd of animals has understood our 

message!", said the president. 

Then he remarked: "Mr. Morris, no one has ever managed it 

to stop us. For decades, and centuries, our power has 

grown, and it is still growing. We have struck deep roots, 

like a cancer that can not be destroyed anymore, because it 

has already spread to the last part of the body. We have 

brought down kings and have smashed nations if they have 

stood in our way. We have perfectly infiltrated this globe and 

there is no escape for no one. In 2018, we put the mask 

from our face and showed us to the people, but they 


remained silent and let us eat them. The nations have 
behaved like the rabbit in front of the snake. The old writings 
have predicted it and so it has happened. The great plan 
became reality. And now, we want to bring mankind the 
slavery that it deserves. Now our time has come, and we 
will rule this planet forever!" 

"But perhaps our reaction in Paris was not right?", said 

The World President, who made him stand as always and 
this time even turned his back to him, harrumphed and 
answered, "Not right? Of course it was right! The masses 
shall know that we control them. They can hate us but, first, 
they must fear us. Their world, the old world, is broken into 
pieces and will never return. The new world is our creation. 
Yes, we want to show our power openly, as the elders of 
our past always intended it. They were forced to spin their 
threads secretly. We don't need secrecy any longer, 
because we are the rulers of this earth. In our hands is all 
the might of the world, and the sign of invincibility is our 
banner, the banner of our New World Order." 
"I believe you, Mr. World President!", said Morris, almost 
under his breath. 

"No!", replied his master emphatically, "I know that you do 
not mean that, deep inside. But that's quite immaterial. 
What you believe has no meaning. The people also believe 
much, but it is perfectly irrelevant. They believe in a better 
world, in a rescue, in their god! Well, Mr. Morris, if that god 
in whom these animals believe would really exist, I would 
personally liquidate him!" 

The words of this man, for whom he did the most menial 
paperwork, visibly intimidated Morris. Liquidate God! Morris 
looked around, as if searching for an escape should one 
become necessary, but didn't dare to bestir from his place. 
"There are only a few who could really become dangerous 


for us, but they are quiet at present," the World President 

continued, "At least, they don't show themselves openly. 

But this is nothing for you, Mr. Morris," he said, his contempt 

undisguised, "really nothing for you!" 

He clasped his hands behind his back, and seemed to lapse 

into contemplation. "We are the darkness of the world," he 

said. But he was musing to himself now, and Morris did not 

catch the words, "We are the darkness of the world, 

whoever follows us, will never walk in light again!" 

The servant inquired what the master had said, but the 

question remained unanswered. Instead, the World 

President raised his tone and said, emphatically: "We bring 

the yoke of slavery to all nations. Who knows us knows also 

that we are the lords of hate, the dark messengers of 

destruction, hating the light of other men, always eager to 

extinguish it. 

We tore down the old world we hated so much - we gnawed 

at the roots of civilization, and finally we brought it down. 

We hid for a long time under the cloak of lies and distortions 

- our greatest art. Our enemies - those fools! - even hailed 

us. Childish maggots! Now the time of our triumph is at 

hand and who shall deny us our pleasure." 

"I don't know...", Morris stammered, and even scratched his 

head to display the necessary confoundedness. 

"You don't need to know, my faithful servant. Because 

wisdom is reserved only for the wise. Ignorance casts a 

shadow in the minds of those like you. That has always 

been a strength to us," said the World President, and he 

spun around. His dark eyes sparkled at the nervous little 

man. He took the glass of orange juice, sipped it and waved 

Morris dismissively in the direction of the door. Then he 

turned away again. 

"Goodbye, Mr. Morris!", he said flatly, his head nodding 

slowly as if in affirmation of some damning, private 


judgement about this ordinary little man, indeed about all 

ordinary men. 

"Good bye, Mr. World President!", answered the gray-haired 

man and disappeared. With a certain relief that this 

confusing conversation was over, the servant walked down 

the long hallway and went to an elevator. 

The head of the World Government opened a drawer and 

took out a remote control. He turned to the big plasma 

screen in the corner of his office and switched on the 

television. On one of the news channels was a report about 

the events in Paris. The man leaned back and stared at the 

TV. A pretty newscaster presented the latest news from 

"Central Europe" with a sad face. Some pictures of the 

bombing and the mangled corpse of the governor were 


Weeping people who seemed to be deeply moved by the 

fate of the politician were interviewed. Even a man who 

vigorously scolded at the terrorists and demanded a harder 

battle against politically incorrect elements. 

"More security for the people by increased supervision!" - 

This was his suggestion, in order to protect mankind from 


"These terrorists threaten the lifes of all respectable 

people!", ranted the man. 

Then the camera showed again some visitors who were 

seized by sorrow and grief, because of the bombing. The 

riots were mentioned only with a few words. The police had 

arrested a bunch of "fanatics" and "extremists", according to 

the TV report. But the security forces had finally been able 

to prevent more chaos, because of their hard course against 

these "criminals". 

The viewer did not learn that thousands of people had been 

massacred by the police and the GCF. The World President 


just smiled. He took another sip of orange juice and turned 
off the television. 

A new morning began in Ivas. A new morning in the new 
world. Frank and Alfred had visited Thorsten Wilden and 
had talked with him about a lot of things. After that, Frank 
had walked with Julia through the nearby forest. He was just 
happy to be still alive. Meanwhile, the life in the small village 
had taken its accustomed course again. 
In these days Frank often thought about hope. He had got 
his revenge, but his fight for freedom had just been born. 
They say "Hope dies last!" - but what would a man be 
without it... 


But the fight will go on. 


Alexander Merow's "Prey World" 
books (Part 1-3, German version): 

Available In all book stores and at Amazon!!! 

Prey World II - Rebellion Beyond 

Oppression and manipulation are the order of the day in the 
year 2030. Only one single nation had been brave enough, 
to fight for its independence - Japan. 
Frank Kohlhaas, Alfred Baumer and millions of desperate 
people look at the Japanese president Matsumoto who has 
liberated his people. But the Lodge Brothers are not willing 
to leave the renegade nation in peace. They slander the 
Japanese with a big hate campaign and plan a military 
strike to bring the rebellious Asians to their knees. 
Frank and Alfred decide to join the Japanese fight for 
freedom as volunteers. Soon the situation gets out of control 
and the fight against the New Worlder Order becomes a 
bloody nightmare. 

Prey World III - Organized Rage 

In the year 2033 the economic situation in Europe is more 
hopeless than ever before. The World Government still loots 
the nations without mercy and holds them in its iron claws. 
Artur Tschistokjow, a young dissident from Belarus, takes 
over the leadership of the Freedom Movement of the Rus, a 
small group of rebels that fights against the Lodge Brothers 
in the underground. 

While a big economic crisis starts in Belarus, the rebels 
form a growing revolutionary movement. Frank, Alfred and 
an increasing number of discontent Belarusians join 


Tschistokjow's organization. They finally follow the Russian 
dissident to a point of no return. 

Prey World IV -Counterrevolution (Coming soon!)